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Cryptocurrency Mogul Sam Bankman-Fried Sentenced To 25 Years In Prison For Massive Fraud

Bankman-Fried will be appealing his 25-year jail sentence for orchestrating one of the largest financial frauds in US history.

Former billionaire and cryptocurrency luminary Sam Bankman-Fried was, on Thursday, sentenced to 25 years in prison by U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan for orchestrating one of the largest financial frauds in U.S. history.

Bankman-Fried, the founder of the now-bankrupt FTX cryptocurrency exchange, faced charges of stealing a staggering $8 billion from customers, culminating in a downfall that has reverberated throughout the cryptocurrency world.

Rejecting Bankman-Fried’s claims of innocence, Judge Kaplan delivered a scathing rebuke, stating that the former entrepreneur had shown no remorse and had knowingly engaged in criminal activities. Bankman-Fried’s assertions that FTX customers did not suffer losses were dismissed by the court, leading to the imposition of the lengthy prison sentence.

During the proceedings, Bankman-Fried, clad in a beige short-sleeve jail T-shirt, expressed regret for the plight of FTX customers but stopped short of admitting criminal wrongdoing. He vowed to appeal his conviction and sentence, maintaining his innocence in the face of the court’s decision.

“I have never attempted to obstruct or defraud any test, and I trust that I will be cleared by the higher court,” Bankman-Fried declared in a statement to the court.

The sentencing marks the culmination of Bankman-Fried’s precipitous fall from grace, once regarded as an ultra-wealthy entrepreneur and influential political donor. Now, he stands as a symbol of the U.S. government’s crackdown on malfeasance in cryptocurrency markets.

In response to the verdict, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland emphasized the gravity of financial crimes and warned against attempts to conceal wrongdoing behind wealth and power.

“There are serious consequences for defrauding customers and investors,” Garland stated. “Anyone who believes they can hide their financial crimes behind wealth and power should think twice.”

Judge Kaplan’s ruling highlighted the extensive losses suffered by FTX customers, equity investors, and lenders, totaling billions of dollars. As part of the sentencing, Bankman-Fried faces an $11 billion forfeiture order, with seized assets to be used for restitution to victims.

Federal prosecutors had pushed for a significantly longer sentence, while Bankman-Fried’s defense argued for a more lenient outcome. 

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi 

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