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‘Crypto King’ Sam Bankman-Fried Jailed For 25 Years

Sam Bankman-Fried – also known as SBF – has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for stealing billions of dollars from customers of his cryptocurrency exchange FTX.

After a two hour hearing the judge, Lewis Kaplan, said Bankman-Fried knew what he was doing was criminal and regretted making a bad bet about the likelihood of being caught.

“There are a lot of mistakes that I made,” Bankman-Fried told the court, but maintained FTX had the ability to repay customers when it imploded.

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Prosecutors say Bankman-Fried took more than $10bn (£7.9bn) from unsuspecting customers in “one of the biggest financial frauds” in US history.

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FTX was valued at $32bn before it went bankrupt in 2022 and SBF crafted a public image that drew in celebrities, politicians and business titans.

SBF’s ex-girlfriend’s testimony informed sentencing, judge says

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One of the big things that stood out from Judge Lewis Kaplan’s remarks earlier this morning was his explanation of how he calculated the 25-year sentence.

And you really can’t overstate the impact of the testimony of Caroline Ellison, the former girlfriend of Sam Bankman-Fried, as Judge Kaplan harkened back to it numerous times to explain how he arrived at his decision.

The judge highlighted a couple of key moments from her testimony. One thing that was influential was where she spoke about SBF’s ambitions – specifically his political ones.

The judge cited how Bankman-Fried had once said that there was a 5% chance of him becoming president someday, behaviour that Kaplan said was on full display in court today during his testimony.

The judge also discussed how Bankman-Fried always presented himself as a good guy, and referenced an interview he gave where the FTX founder was quoted as being in favour of regulation.

To this, Judge Kaplan said: “In my judgement that was an act”.

SBF should not be held in maximum security prison

Judge Lewis Kaplan said he would recommend that Sam Bankman-Fried not be sent to a maximum security prison because he had no reason to believe he posed a threat of violence.

SBF’s notoriety, association with vast wealth and being an autistic person would make him “unusually vulnerable” in prison, Judge Kaplan said.

He added that the prison should be as close to the San Francisco Bay Area as possible, to make it easier for family visits.

SourceThe BBC

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