'Should’ve gotten 50 years': Outrage as FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried gets 25 years in prison for fraud and conspiracy

'Should’ve gotten 50 years': Outrage as FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried gets 25 years in prison for fraud and conspiracy
Sam Bankman-Fried, once hailed as the 'Crypto King', was found guilty on all seven counts of fraud and conspiracy (Getty Images)

Warning: This article contains a recollection of crime and can be triggering to some, readers’ discretion advised.

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: Cryptocurrency entrepreneur Sam Bankman-Fried was sentenced to 25 years in prison on Thursday, March 28 for a massive fraud that affected hundreds of thousands of customers and came to an end with the demise of FTX, which was once among the most well-known platforms for trading digital currencies worldwide.

District Judge Lewis A Kaplan called Bankman-Fried "extremely smart," but he also delivered a scathing indictment of the disgraced CEO's crimes.

Sam Bankman-Fried found guilty of fraud and conspiracy

The judge's sentence was less than 25% of the 105 years the court's probation officers recommended, and it was half of what the prosecution had requested, according to News4Jax.

“There is absolutely no doubt that Mr Bankman-Fried’s name right now is pretty much mud around the world,” Kaplan stated of the 32-year-old Californian who appeared to be at the top of the cryptocurrency world until his businesses failed in November 2022, leaving lenders, investors, and customers out of pocket more than $11 billion that a judge ordered him to forfeit.

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 22: FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried leaves Manhattan Federal Court after his a
Collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried's FTX sent shockwaves through crypto industry (Getty Images)

After a meteoric rise that included a Super Bowl commercial, congressional testimony, and celebrity endorsements from quarterback Tom Brady, basketball point guard Stephen Curry, and comedian Larry David, he was found guilty in November of fraud and conspiracy.

In the Manhattan courtroom where Bankman-Fried had testified four months earlier, claiming that he had not intended to steal but rather to use his creative and charitable ideas to transform the nascent cryptocurrency market, Kaplan handed down the sentence.

(Getty Images)
Prosecutors also underscored Sam Bankman-Fried's privileged upbringing (Getty Images)

According to the judge, Bankman-perjury Fried repeatedly made false statements while testifying, and was "often evasive, hair-splitting, dodging questions."

The possibility that Bankman-Fried "will be in position to do something very bad in the future" was indicated by the sentence, according to Kaplan.

Additionally, he stated that the sentence was designed “for the purpose of disabling him to the extent that can appropriately be done for a significant period of time.”

Sam Bankman-Fried stole billions of dollars since 2017

Given the public recognition of Bankman-Fried, his connection to enormous wealth, his autism, and his social awkwardness, Kaplan stated that the Federal Bureau of Prisons should consider placing him in a medium-security facility near San Francisco.

This is because he would probably be especially exposed in a setting with high levels of security. Assistant US Attorney Nicolas Roos stated that sentencing the defendant to 40 to 50 years in prison was the only way to ensure that "the defendant doesn't do it again."

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 08: CEO of FTX Sam Bankman-Fried testifies during a hearing before the Hou
Sam Bankman-Fried won't be facing a second trial for additional charges (Getty Images)

Prosecutors claim that FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried stole billions of dollars since 2017 after he looted customer accounts for illegal political donations, bribing Chinese officials, making risky investments, buying luxury real estate in the Caribbean, and living lavishly.

The judge agreed with prosecutors that Bankman-Fried should not be credited because some investors and customers might recover some money. Customers lost about $8 billion, investors lost $1.7 billion, and lenders were shorted by $1.3 billion, News4Jax stated.

Bankman-Fried apologized in a rambling statement, expressing regret about "a lot of mistakes" but casting some blame onto others.

(Getty Images)
Bankman-Fried could spend the better part of his life behind bars (Getty Images)

Defense attorney Marc Mukasey criticized Bankman-Fried's remarks, stating that he expressed "never a word of remorse for the commission of terrible crimes." Bankman-Fried's attorneys, friends, and family urged leniency, saying he was unlikely to re-offend.

FTX's investors have largely recovered their funds, a claim disputed by bankruptcy lawyers, FTX, and its creditors. Bankman-Fried's parents, both Stanford Law School professors, issued a statement saying, "We are heartbroken and will continue to fight for our son."

Internet demands 50-year sentence for Sam Bankman-Fried

After the news of Sam Bankman-Fried's arrest surfaced on the Internet, users started demanding a longer sentence for him. A user wrote, "Should’ve gotten 50 years. He’s going to serve 10-12 years max. In a country club prison."



 

Another remarked, "Not sure how he didn't get a minimum of 50 years in prison. What an awful ruling by the judge. I guess it pays to buy off Democrats."



 

Someone else criticized the judicial system and said, "The judicial system in America is broken. He will be out very soon because of his powerful democratic friends."



 

"Great but he will serve 3 years or less because his family will pay someone off to reduce the sentence! He’s going to cry so much that his well heeled family will do whatever it takes to get him out!" concluded the fourth user.



 

This article contains remarks made on the Internet by individual people and organizations. MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and does not support claims or opinions being made online.

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