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Ruling In SBF Case Is A Warning To Others, U.S. Attorney Says

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Ruling In SBF Case Is A Warning To Others, U.S. Attorney Says

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams wrote in an official statement following Judge Lewis A. Kaplan’s Thursday morning ruling that FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s 25-year prison sentence will send “an important message” to potential fraudsters everywhere.

In addition to a quarter of a century in prison, Kaplan has ordered Bankman-Fried to forfeit over $11 billion.

A Message To Future Fraudsters, U.S. Attorney Says

Bankman-Fried’s sentencing follows his November 2023 trial for his nearly $8 billion digital asset fraud scheme through crypto exchange FTX and its sister company, Alameda Research, with Williams calling the FTX founder’s theft “unprecedented.”

Statement of U.S. Attorney Damian Williams on the sentencing of Samuel Bankman-Fried

— US Attorney SDNY (@SDNYnews) March 28, 2024

“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,” Williams said.

Sam Bankman-Fried Apologizes

Slightly thinner and wearing a beige jumpsuit, Bankman-Fried spoke in court during the ruling, apologizing to colleagues, family, friends, and customers for the crypto exchange’s collapse.

“I know a lot of people feel let down,” Bankman-Fried told the court. “I’m sorry about that. I’m sorry about everything that happened at every stage.”

He went on to state that he feels “excruciating guilt” over his role in the crypto exchange’s implosion, claiming the damage it caused “haunts” him every day.

The FTX founder’s new lawyer, Marc Muskasey, likened the fraudster to a “beautiful puzzle” who was “socially awkward.”

“SBF doesn’t make decisions with malice in his heart,” Mukasey said. “He makes decisions with math in his head.”

SBF Motivated By Power And Influence, U.S. Attorney Says

Kaplan, however, did not subscribe to the defense’s logic, calling their argument “misleading, logically flawed, and speculative.”

“He knew it was wrong,” Kaplan continued. “He knew it was criminal. He regrets making a bad bet against the likelihood of getting caught – and he’s not going to admit a thing.”

“His deliberate and ongoing lies demonstrated a brazen disregard for customers’ expectations and disrespect for the rule of law, all so that he could secretly use his customers’ money to expand his own power and influence,” Williams continued. “The scale of his crimes is measured not just by the amount of money that was stolen, but by the extraordinary harm caused to victims, who in some cases had their life savings wiped out overnight.”

Bankman-Fried will spend his sentence in a medium-security prison. He is currently at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, NY.