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Cryptocurrency con man Sam Bankman-Fried gets 25-year prison sentence

At the height of FTX’s prominence, it was valued at $30-plus billion and Bankman-Fried’s net worth at more than $20 billion.

Sam Bankman-Fried
Sam Bankman-Fried in 2021. Credit: Cointelegraph via Wikimedia Commons.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan sentenced Sam Bankman-Fried, the former co-founder and CEO of FTX, to 25 years imprisonment on Thursday.

Bankman-Fried, 32, defrauded customers of more than $8 billion to fund speculative investments, excessive spending and a life as a high-flying political powerbroker, according to the court. He was a top Democratic Party donor, donating millions to individual campaigns.

Victim impact statements described how customers who lost their investments felt that their lives had been destroyed, some even contemplating suicide.

“Today’s sentence will prevent the defendant from ever again committing fraud and is an important message to others who might be tempted to engage in financial crimes that justice will be swift, and the consequences will be severe,” Damian Williams, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement.

Bankman-Fried, who was raised in a Jewish family, said he intends to appeal his conviction.

At the height of FTX’s prominence, the cryptocurrency platform was valued at more than $30 billion and Bankman-Fried’s net worth at more than $20 billion.

“Anyone who believes they can hide their financial crimes behind wealth and power, or behind a shiny new thing they claim no one else is smart enough to understand, should think twice,” stated Attorney General Merrick Garland.

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