US court jails ‘crypto king’ Sam Bankman-Fried for 25 years

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A United States entrepreneur and crypto king, Sam Bankman-Fried, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison over his involvement in defrauding users of the collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX.

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Justice Lewis Kaplan of a US District court in lower Manhattan, called the defence argument misleading, logically flawed, and speculative.

Kaplan said Bankman-Fried, 32, had obstructed justice and tampered with witnesses in mounting his defense — something Kaplan said he weighed in his sentencing decision.

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

Bankman-Fried, wearing a beige jailhouse jumpsuit, struck an apologetic tone, saying he had made a series of “selfish” decisions while leading FTX and “threw it all away.”

“It haunts me every day,” he said in a statement. “There are a lot of mistakes that I made.”

Bankman-Fried, however, told the court that FTX had the ability to repay customers when it collapsed.

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

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.

Prosecutors had sought as much as 50 years, while Bankman-Fried’s legal team argued for not more than six-and-a-half years.

He was convicted on seven criminal counts in November and has been held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn since.

 

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