Found guilty of fraud after the bankruptcy of the crypto exchange FTX, its founder was sentenced to 25 years in prison. But he doesn’t intend to stop there.

Fallen cryptocurrency superstar Sam Bankman-Fried has appealed his 25-year prison sentence for one of the worst financial frauds in recent history, according to a court document released Thursday. During the sentencing hearing on March 28 by Federal Judge Lewis Kaplan in New York, his lawyers indicated that he intended to appeal.

What he did on April 1, and which cost him $605, according to the ad hoc justice form that AFP consulted. “SBF” – his nickname – was found guilty by a jury in November of the seven counts brought against him during a trial at the end of which the New York prosecutor, Damian Williams, had requested between forty and fifty years of imprisonment.

In addition to the 25 years of imprisonment, “SBF” was imposed a sanction of 11 billion dollars – which could be used to compensate for possible customer losses – and will have a probation period of three years after his release, according to the Justice Department. On March 28, Judge Kaplan noted that the young man had recognized that “mistakes had been made, but never had a word of remorse for having committed a terrible crime”.

Describing him as “insolent”, the magistrate denounced his “exceptional flexibility” regarding the truth. According to him, with supporting examples, “SBF” engaged in at least three perjuries during his testimony at the five-week trial, as well as witness tampering. This increased the maximum possible sentence to 110 years.

“A lot of people feel like they’ve been let down, I’m sorry,” Sam Bankman-Fried said during the hearing. “I’m sorry about what happened on every level.”

“Message important”

After the sentence was handed down, prosecutor Damian Williams considered that it would “forever prevent (Sam Bankman-Fried) from committing fraud” and that it sent an “important message” to those who would be tempted by the white-collar crime that “justice will be swift and the consequences severe”.

“SBF” used, without their consent, the assets of customers of its digital currency exchange platform FTX, to carry out risky transactions via its sister company Alameda, to purchase real estate or to make political donations. Subject to massive withdrawal requests from panicked customers, FTX imploded in November 2022. At the time of its bankruptcy filing, around $9 billion was missing.

The group’s liquidators have already recovered about $6.4 billion in cash and plan to fully reimburse injured customers. The former student of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was never accused of personal enrichment and kept, until the end, most of his fortune in FTX shares, the value of which evaporated.


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