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Crypto King Sam Bankman-Fried Sentenced To 25 Years In Prison For Massive Fraud

Prosecutors said FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried orchestrated one of the largest fraud schemes ever, misappropriating billions of dollars in customer funds..
 Crypto King Sam Bankman-Fried Sentenced To 25 Years In Prison For Massive Fraud

FILE photo of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried leaving Federal court on July 26, 2023, in New York. (Mary Altaffer/AP )

Sam Bankman-Fried, the co-founder and former CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, was sentenced to 25 years in prison Thursday for his role in a massive fraud scheme.

The sentencing comes just months after Bankman-Fried’s stunning fall from grace. At its peak, FTX was valued at $32 billion and was among the largest crypto exchanges in the world. Bankman-Fried was once considered a visionary in the industry and boasted a personal net worth of over $26 billion.

However, FTX spectacularly collapsed in November 2022, leaving over 1 million customers unable to access their funds. It was revealed that Bankman-Fried had used billions of dollars in customer funds to prop up his other failing businesses, including the hedge fund Alameda Research.

Prosecutors argued Bankman-Fried should receive 40-50 years in prison, saying he victimized tens of thousands of people worldwide over multiple years through lies and deception. However, the judge imposed a 25 year sentence, believing Bankman-Fried still posed a risk to re-offend if released earlier.

At the sentencing hearing, Bankman-Fried expressed some remorse but also deflected blame to others. The judge criticized his lack of acceptance of responsibility for the massive fraud and damage caused. Three other former FTX executives who testified against Bankman-Fried during his trial also received prison sentences ranging from 3-7 years.

The fall of FTX and Bankman-Fried shocked the crypto world and erased billions in market value. It marked a stunning reversal of fortune for someone once celebrated as a wunderkid who could do no wrong. His 25 year sentence underscores the serious legal consequences for those who defraud investors through deceptive business practices. It also led to calls for stricter regulations, if not an outright ban on crypto currencies.

Prosecutors said Bankman-Fried orchestrated one of the largest fraud schemes ever. They accused him of grossly abusing investor trust and misappropriating billions of dollars in customer funds.

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FTX filed for bankruptcy owing up to 1 million creditors over $11 billion. This shocked the crypto world given FTX’s previous dominance as a platform. The collapse is still being investigated.

Sam Bankman-Fried testified at his own trial that he did not intend to defraud anyone, claiming he made “mistakes” like poor oversight of FTX funds. But the judge rejected his defence and said the fraud was intentional.

Bankman-Fried once cultivated an image as a philanthropist, claiming to donate most of his wealth. But evidence showed he secretly used customer money to fund an extravagant lifestyle and political influence campaign.

Customers have little hope of major recoveries, despite an ongoing bankruptcy process. Prosecutors argued Bankman-Fried deserved a lengthy sentence partly to compensate harmed investors.

The saga marks a stunning downfall for the 30-year-old Bankman-Fried, who went from media darling to criminal nearly overnight as the full extent of FTX’s fraud was revealed.
(With Inputs from AP)

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