Dem Megadonor Sam Bankman-Fried Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison

Sam Bankman-Fried in courtroom (composite image)
by Jason Cohen


Convicted cryptocurrency fraudster Sam Bankman-Fried on Thursday received a prison sentence of 25 years.

A jury found Bankman-Fried guilty on seven counts of fraud and conspiracy-related charges in November and the New York probation department’s sentence recommendation was 100 years in prison, according to a February court filing pleading for a lighter sentence. Bankman-Fried’s lawyer had asked for a 60-78 month sentence, citing the convicted fraudster’s philanthropic ventures and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

“Sam is uniquely vulnerable in a prison population. Individuals with ASD are often at considerably greater risk of physical harm and extortion in prison than other inmates,” his lawyer wrote.

DCNF-logoBankman-Fried co-founded and was CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, which collapsed in November 2022 as it faced accusations of mishandling billions in customer money.

Prosecutors had sought a sentence of between 40 and 50 years, according to CNN. Prosecutors estimate that losses resulting from Bankman-Fried’s actions exceed $10 billion, yet with FTX’s holdings appreciating since the collapse, many customers may recover their lost funds in full.

“A lot of people feel really let down, and they were very let down, and I am sorry about that” Bankman-Fried said at his sentencing hearing Thursday, according to CNN Business. “I am sorry about what happened at every stage. And there are things I should’ve done and things I shouldn’t have.”

Bankman-Fried used FTX customer funds for “charitable contributions,” according to the August indictment against him.

“Well before Alameda or FTX ever existed, Sam committed his life to philanthropy, pledging to earn money and give it away, with the goal of “helping the world’s poorest people,'” his lawyer wrote. “Sam does not just talk about making the world a better place, he takes action.”

The convicted fraudster contributed more than $30 million overwhelmingly to support Democrat-aligned causes, and was the second-largest individual donor to them during the 2022 midterm election cycle, according to The Washington Post’s analysis of Federal Election Commission data.

He “misappropriated and embezzled FTX customer deposits, and used billions of dollars in stolen funds for a variety of purposes, including … to help fund over a hundred million dollars in campaign contributions to Democrats and Republicans to seek to influence cryptocurrency regulation,” according to the August indictment.

Bankman-Fried’s lawyer had described the 100-year sentencing recommendation “grotesque” and “barbaric” in the February filing.

Caroline Ellison, Bankman-Fried’s ex-girlfriend and former CEO of Alameda Research, the sister cryptocurrency exchange to FTX, testified that he instructed her to commit fraud by exploiting FTX and Alameda’s relationship, claiming he established a system to enable the hedge fund to withdraw unlimited funds from the cryptocurrency exchange.

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Jason Cohen is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Sam Bankman-Fried” by Cointelegraph; Photo “Courtroom” by Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress.



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