FTX(FTX加密货币交易所), Sam Bankman-Fried(萨姆·班克曼·弗里德) 2024.3 ☑Press ☑Judge ☑U.S.,美国
2024.3.28,塞缪尔·班克曼·弗里德 (Samuel Bankman-Fried),又名 SBF,32 岁,来自加利福尼亚州斯坦福市,今天因策划多项欺诈计划而被判处 25 年监禁, 3 年监督释放,并被责令支付 110 亿美元没收金。

2024.4.1,萨姆·班克曼·弗里德 (Sam Bankman-Fried) 对因金融欺诈被判 25 年监禁的反应
在专门向美国广播公司新闻提供的书面回复中,班克曼-弗里德坚称他感到悔恨:“我从没想过我所做的事情是非法的。”

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried speaks out after sentencing: ‘I’m haunted, every day, by what was lost’
“It’s most of what I think about each day,” he said.

Former crypto entrepreneur Sam Bankman-Fried told ABC News in an exclusive interview that he is remorseful for his actions that last week resulted in a 25-year prison sentence for fraud.

“It’s most of what I think about each day,” he said.

Bankman-Fried’s sentence capped off a 17-month saga that began in November 2022 when FTX, a global cryptocurrency exchange he co-founded and served as CEO, imploded, resulting in a $8 billion loss for its customers. Bankman-Fried resigned amid the company’s fall and the new ownership filed for bankruptcy. Prosecutors said he stole from FTX customers and used the money for political contributions, investments and personal gain. Last fall, he was convicted of seven counts of fraud, conspiracy and money laundering, which led to Thursday’s sentencing.

Speaking exclusively to ABC News via email throughout the weekend from the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, Bankman-Fried said FTX’s insolvency was the result of several “bad decisions” he made in 2022.

“I never thought that what I was doing was illegal. But I tried to hold myself to a high standard, and I certainly didn’t meet that standard,” he said.

During his sentencing on Thursday, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan said Bankman-Fried committed perjury in his testimony and was “often evasive.” The judge also said that the defendant’s remarks never conveyed “a word of remorse for the commission of terrible crimes.”

Bankman-Fried said Sunday that “of course” he is remorseful.

“I’ve heard and seen the despair, frustration and sense of betrayal from thousands of customers; they deserve to be paid in full, at current price,” he said.

“That could and should have happened in November 2022, and it could and should happen today. It’s excruciating to see them waiting, day after day,” he said.

He added that he “felt the pain” from co-workers as he “threw away what they poured their lives into” and from the charities he supported “as their funding turned into nothing but reputational damage.”

“I’m haunted, every day, by what was lost. I never intended to hurt anyone or take anyone’s money. But I was the CEO of FTX, I was responsible for what happened to the company, and when you’re responsible it doesn’t matter why it goes bad. I’d give anything to be able to help repair even part of the damage. I’m doing what I can from prison, but it’s deeply frustrating not to be able to do more,” he said.

In his statement to the court Thursday, Bankman-Fried, 32, said that had he or another FTX employee remained in place as CEO, customers would have been “paid back long ago.” He blamed the company’s decision to not restart the FTX exchange, which he said could have potentially led to long-term value.

“There are and always have been plenty of assets to repay customers, lenders, and investors in full, at current prices or prices at the time,” he said.

In a court filing last year, Bankman-Fried accused Sullivan & Cromwell, the law firm representing FTX’s new ownership, of working with prosecutors and said he had a right to see the FTX documents the company shared with prosecutors. For that reason, Bankman-Fried suggested on Sunday he was not given a fair trial.

“At the root, SullCrom’s role in the prosecution, the one-sided media frenzy they incited, and the defense’s inability to get in critical evidence at trial, infected the whole process,” he said.

A spokesperson for Sullivan & Cromwell on Monday referred ABC News to sentencing remarks by Judge Kaplan, who said Bankman-Fried had perjured himself on the witness stand and pursued a media strategy of blaming lawyers and the bankruptcy process for investor losses rather than take responsibility for his crimes.

Bankman-Fried also said his defense team plans to appeal later this year based on certain trial testimony that he said, “greatly misstated what actually happened” and the fact that his defense was “not allowed to introduce crucial evidence or put on important witnesses.” He did not offer specifics, explaining he did not want to impact his defense team’s legal strategy.

Following his Thursday sentencing, Bankman-Fried said he, “lost everything I had to lose.”

“I’d give anything to be out there, trying to make a positive difference in the world, but I know that’s not going to happen. I can’t help from prison,” he said in court.

2024.3.29,(abcnews)加密货币交易所 FTX 历史性崩溃的时间表

Timeline: FTX’s historic collapse
The fall of cryptocurrency giant FTX is one of the most sudden and massive in recent corporate history.

Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of FTX, was a 30-year-old crypto wunderkind who for years garnered goodwill as a philanthropist and leading proponent of industry regulation. Now, his ex-firm is bankrupt and he has been convicted of defrauding investors out of billions of dollars.

On Thursday, a federal judge sentenced Bankman-Fried to 25 years in prison.

Some crypto traders, who deposited their savings on the platform, may never get their money back.

Below is a timeline of the series of events that explains exactly how the company and its founder fell so far and so fast.

2024

Jan. 31 – A lawyer representing the bankruptcy estate of FTX said the firm expects to fully repay customers. “There is still a great amount of work and risk between us and that result, but we believe the objective is within reach, and we have a strategy to achieve it,” FTX attorney Andrew Dietderich said at a court hearing.

Feb. 27 – Attorneys for Bankman-Fried filed a memo saying he should receive a prison sentence of between 5.25 and 6.5 years.

March 15 – Prosecutors said Bankman-Fried should receive 40 to 50 years in prison due to the “enormous scale of the fraud.”

March 28 – A federal judge sentenced Bankman-Fried to 25 years in prison. “This was a very serious crime,” U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan said.

2023

Jan. 3 – In a New York courtroom, Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty to criminal charges that he defrauded investors. U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan announced that the trial would take place in October.

Jan. 12 – Bankman-Fried published a 2,300-word blog post rebuking the fraud and conspiracy charges, replete with charts and graphs. He said that he didn’t steal customer funds, instead blaming the company’s woes on a sharp downturn in the cryptocurrency market.

Aug. 11 – Bankman-Fried had his bail revoked and was immediately remanded to custody of the U.S. Marshals. Bankman-Fried had tampered with witnesses, prosecutors alleged, citing his decision to share Caroline Ellison’s personal writings with the New York Times. Thereafter, Bankman-Fried was housed at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn while he awaited trial.

Oct. 3 – Proceedings began in Bankman-Fried’s trial. Over the ensuing weeks, Ellison would become one of the prosecution’s star witnesses, saying Bankman-Fried did not think rules applied to him. Bankman-Fried testified in his own defense across three days of hearings.

Nov. 2 – A jury found Bankman-Fried guilty on all charges in his federal fraud and conspiracy trial. In all, the charges carry a maximum sentence of 110 years in prison.

2022

Nov. 2 – The collapse of FTX centers in part on the cryptocurrency exchange’s close relationship with Alameda Research, a crypto hedge fund also founded by Bankman-Fried.

Major concerns about FTX started when news outlet CoinDesk published an article that found a significant portion of Alameda Research’s assets consisted of FTT, a token created by FTX that allows users of the exchange to access discounted trading fees.

Because FTT cannot be easily exchanged for cash, the report stoked fears about the capital reserves at Alameda Research and thus FTX.

Nov. 6 – In response to the article, Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of rival crypto exchange Binance, often referred to as “CZ,” said he would sell all of the company’s holdings in FTT, which amount to $580 million worth of the token.

The major exit from a crypto heavyweight triggered a wider selloff, akin to a bank run, placing immense pressure on FTX to meet the sudden demand for customer withdrawals. Due to a lack of funds, FTX halted customer withdrawals altogether.

Nov. 8 – FTX reached a deal to sell itself to Binance, the crypto exchange whose executive had helped trigger the selloff.

“This is a user-centric development that benefits the entire industry,” Bankman-Fried said. “CZ has done, and will continue to do, an incredible job of building out the global crypto ecosystem, and creating a freer economic world.”

“The important thing is that customers are protected,” he added.

Nov. 9 – Binance withdrew from the deal to acquire FTX.

“As a result of corporate due diligence, as well as the latest news reports regarding mishandled customer funds and alleged US agency investigations, we have decided that we will not pursue the potential acquisition of FTX.com.,” Binance said.

Zhao, of Binance, summed up the decision in a tweet:

CZ 🔶 BNB
Sad day. Tried, but 😭
5:56 AM · Nov 10, 2022

Meanwhile, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department had begun investigating the FTX collapse, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Sequoia Capital, a top venture firm, wrote down its roughly $210 million stake in FTX to $0.

“We are in the business of taking risks,” Sequoia Capital said in a public letter. “Some investments will surprise to the upside, and some to the downside.”

Nov. 10 – A Bahamian financial regulator froze the assets of FTX.

The Securities Commission of the Bahamas said it was aware of public statements suggesting that FTX’s customer funds were potentially “mishandled” and “mismanaged.”

Nov. 11 – FTX filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protections as it assesses the value of its remaining assets, a company announcement said.

Bankman-Fried resigned as CEO and was replaced with John J. Ray III, who steered disgraced energy company Enron through bankruptcy proceedings in the 2000s.

“The immediate relief of Chapter 11 is appropriate to provide the FTX Group the opportunity to assess its situation and develop a process to maximize recoveries for stakeholders,” Ray said.

Nov. 12 – The Wall Street Journal reported that FTX lent customer deposits to Alameda Research to help it meet its liabilities, and top executives at Alameda Research were aware of it, raising further scrutiny about the relationship between Alameda Research and FTX.

Nov. 14 – The collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX became the subject of an investigation by federal prosecutors in New York, sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.

At issue, the sources said, is whether FTX violated securities laws when it reportedly gave customer funds to Alameda Research.

Nov. 16 – House lawmakers called on Bankman-Fried as well as executives at Alameda and Binance to testify in a hearing on Capitol Hill in December.

“The fall of FTX has posed tremendous harm to over one million users, many of whom were everyday people who invested their hard-earned savings into the FTX cryptocurrency exchange, only to watch it all disappear within a matter of seconds,” Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., said in a statement.

“Unfortunately, this event is just one out of many examples of cryptocurrency platforms that have collapsed just this past year.”

Meanwhile, celebrity boosters of FTX — including Naomi Osaka, Shaquille O’Neal and Kevin O’Leary — were sued in federal court in a class-action lawsuit alleging that false representations of a deceptive product were used to dupe vulnerable investors.

“I had no knowledge, nor did any of the other celebrities, of what occurred here,” O’Leary, an entrepreneur and panelist on the TV show “Shark Tank,” told ABC’s “Nightline.”

Later in the day, Vox published an interview in which Bankman-Fried disparages regulators using an expletive, confesses that his previous calls for tighter crypto regulation had been driven by public relations concerns and says he regrets the company declaring bankruptcy.

Bankman-Fried, a prolific philanthropist, in the interview described his public commitment to ethics as “a dumb game we woke westerners play.”

Nov. 17 – John Ray, the incoming CEO who was installed to guide the company through bankruptcy proceedings, said in a court filing that he has never seen such a “complete failure” of corporate controls in his career, including during the Enron scandal.

“From compromised systems integrity and faulty regulatory oversight abroad, to the concentration of control in the hands of a very small group of inexperienced, unsophisticated and potentially compromised individuals,” Ray said.

“This situation is unprecedented,” he added.

Dec. 12 – Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas after federal prosecutors in New York filed criminal charges contained in a sealed indictment, according to the Royal Bahamas Police Force.

A source familiar with the charges told ABC News that Bankman-Fried is facing a multi-count fraud indictment one month after FTX filed a $32 billion bankruptcy.

The arrest “followed receipt of formal notification from the United States that it has filed criminal charges against SBF and is likely to request his extradition,” the Bahamas Attorney General’s Office said.

Dec. 13 – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged Bankman-Fried with defrauding investors.

“FTX’s collapse highlights the very real risks that unregistered crypto asset trading platforms can pose for investors and customers alike,” said Gurbir S. Grewal, director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, in a statement.

2024.3.28,(CNN),山姆·班克曼-弗里德被判处 25 年监禁 2024 年 3 月 28 日东部时间下午 3:29更新
SBF的父母:“我们心碎了,将继续为我们的儿子而战。” 2024 年 3 月 28 日美国东部时间下午 1:16
加密社区的一些人将 SBF 的判决与被关闭的黑市网站创始人的判决进行了对比 2024 年 3 月 28 日美国东部时间下午 3:29
刘易斯·卡普兰法官表示,他将建议监狱管理局将班克曼-弗里德安置在中等安全设施或该局认为合适的任何较低安全设施中。2024 年 3 月 28 日东部时间中午 12:22
卡普兰法官:SBF 希望成为“极具政治影响力的人物” 2024 年 3 月 28 日美国东部时间上午 11:55
检察官:FTX 欺诈“并非纸面上不流血的经济损失” 2024 年 3 月 28 日美国东部时间上午 11:26
Bankman-Fried 告诉法庭,看到 FTX 的客户受苦,他感到痛苦。“观看这一切真是令人难以忍受,”他说。 “客户不应该承受这样的痛苦。”他说,作为首席执行官,他应对这种痛苦负责。但“归根结底,我并不是最重要的人——重要的是受影响的客户和员工。”他似乎承认自己即将入狱,他说:“我的有用生命可能已经结束了。现在已经结束了一段时间了。” 2024 年 3 月 28 日美国东部时间上午 11:12
SBF:FTX 的崩溃“每天都困扰着我” 2024 年 3 月 28 日美国东部时间上午 10:57
在他的律师发言后,班克曼-弗里德直接向法庭发表讲话。“很多人都感到非常失望,他们非常失望,对此我感到很抱歉。”他说。 “我对每个阶段发生的事情感到抱歉。有些事情是我应该做的,有些事情是我不应该做的。” 2024 年 3 月 28 日美国东部时间上午 10:48
卡普兰法官表示,他发现班克曼-弗里德罪行的受害者损失超过 5.5 亿美元,这是联邦量刑指南规定的最高限额。卡普兰表示,他发现投资者损失了 17 亿美元,阿拉米达贷方损失了 13 亿美元,FTX 客户损失了 80 亿美元。SBF 的律师在量刑前备忘录中辩称,任何受害者都没有遭受损失,他们将在破产程序中得到补偿。 “我完全否认没有实际损失,”法官说。卡普兰表示,被告的论点取决于 FTX 的客户将在破产中获得完整赔偿的假设,被告关于FTX 客户和债权人将获得全额偿付的说法“具有误导性,在逻辑上存在缺陷,而且具有投机性”。尽管如此,卡普兰表示,当他最终对 32 岁的班克曼-弗里德判刑时,他打算判处他低于最高量刑标准的徒刑。参与处理 FTX 破产财产的律师 Andrew Dietderich 上个月对特拉华州法官表示,他预计客户将获得全额偿还。但他警告说,“这不是一个保证,而是一个目标。”Dietderich表示:“要达到这一结果,我们还有大量的工作要做,也面临着很大的风险,但我们相信目标是可以实现的,而且我们有实现这一目标的战略。” 2024 年 3 月 28 日美国东部时间上午 10:20
Sam Bankman-Fried 已抵达法庭,等待对其创立的 FTX 公司大规模加密货币欺诈案的判决。他没有戴脚镣,但走进去时他双手背在背后。2024 年 3 月 28 日美国东部时间上午 9:43
萨姆·班克曼-弗里德的父母周四早些时候抵达曼哈顿法院,等待儿子的判决。乔·班克曼和芭芭拉·弗里德都是斯坦福大学的终身法学教授,住在加利福尼亚州。他们被发现出现在儿子曼哈顿的审判中,并在案件中占据显著位置。2024 年 3 月 28 日东部时间上午 9:00

1:16 p.m. ET, March 28, 2024
SBF’s parents: “We are heartbroken”

Barbara Fried and Joseph Bankman, parents of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, exit the Manhattan Federal Court today in New York.

Bankman-Fried’s parents, Joe Bankman and Barbara Fried, issued a statement after leaving the Manhattan courtroom Thursday, saying: “We are heartbroken and will continue to fight for our son.”

3:29 p.m. ET, March 28, 2024
Some in crypto community contrast SBF’s sentence with that of shuttered dark market site’s founder

Several prominent voices in the crypto community took issue with Sam Bankman Fried’s 25-year sentence, given Ross Ulbricht was sentenced to life in prison in 2015.

Ulbricht created Silk Road — a website that let users anonymously buy and sell anything, including drugs and hacking tutorials. Transactions on the site took place using bitcoin, making it much harder to trace.

Bitcoin Magazine, a crypto publication with more than 3 million followers, posted on X shortly after SBF was sentenced on Thursday:

SBF stole billions of customers money, lied in court, and only got a 25 year sentence.
Ross Ulbricht created a website and is still serving 2 life sentences in prison.
Injustice at its finest.

Roger Ver, an early bitcoin investor often referred to as “bitcoin Jesus,” posted on X Thursday morning ahead of Bankman-Fried’s sentencing trial that Ulbricht’s “‘crime’ was building a website where people could trade freely without government permission.” Since Bankman-Fried’s sentence was announced, his post has been shared by many popular crypto-linked accounts.

1:03 p.m. ET, March 28, 2024
US Attorney Williams: SBF’s sentence is a warning to others

Damian Williams, the US attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement that Bankman-Fried’s 25-year 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.”

US Attorney SDNY
@SDNYnews
Statement of U.S. Attorney Damian Williams on the sentencing of Samuel Bankman-Fried

1:14 p.m. ET, March 28, 2024
How long will SBF actually serve?

There is no possibility of parole in federal criminal cases, but Bankman-Fried can still shave time off his 25-year sentence with good behavior.

“SBF may serve as little as 12.5 years, if he gets all of the jailhouse credit available to him,” Mitchell Epner, a former federal prosecutor, told CNN.

Federal prisoners generally can earn up to 54 days of time credit a year for good behavior, which could result in an approximately 15% reduction.

Since 2018, however, nonviolent federal inmates can reduce their sentence by as much as 50% under prison reform legislation known as the First Step Act.

Epner says the First Step Act was billed as a civil rights measure, to help minority offenders who committed non-violent drug-trafficking offenses.

“It has turned out to be an enormous boon for white-collar criminal defendants, who are already given much lower sentences … than drug-traffickers,” Epner added.

There is also a provision that allows a court to reduce a person’s sentence for extraordinary and compelling reasons, which are often medical, according to Jordan Estes, a former federal prosecutor who is now a partner at Kramer Levin.

“Since the pandemic, courts have been more willing to grant early release under this provision if the defendant has served a substantial portion of his or her sentence,” Estes said.

12:22 p.m. ET, March 28, 2024
Kaplan recommends medium-security federal prison

Judge Lewis Kaplan said he would recommend to the Bureau of Prisons that Bankman-Fried be placed in a medium-security facility or any lower-security facility the bureau finds appropriate.

Medium-security federal prisons have strengthened perimeters — often double fences with electronic detection systems — and mostly cell housing, according to the Bureau of Prisons. They also have a “wide variety of work and treatment programs.”

1:21 p.m. ET, March 28, 2024
Kaplan orders $11.02 billion forfeiture

Judge Kaplan also ordered a forfeiture of $11.02 billion.

He ruled Bankman-Fried’s forfeited assets can be used to help fund the repayment of victims of the FTX collapse.

Correction: A previous version of this post misstated the forfeiture amount. It is $11.02 billion.

11:54 a.m. ET, March 28, 2024
Judge Kaplan: “Not a trivial risk” that SBF could commit crimes again

Judge Lewis Kaplan, just before announcing Bankman-Fried’s 25-year sentence, said there was a risk “that this man will be in a position to do something very bad in the future, and it’s not a trivial risk.”

Bankman-Fried acknowledged his mistakes and said he was sorry for what happened to customers but “never a word of remorse for the commission of terrible crimes,” Judge Kaplan said.

“He knew it was wrong,” he added.

11:47 a.m. ET, March 28, 2024
Bankman-Fried is sentenced to 25 years in prison

Sam Bankman-Fried has been sentenced to 25 years in federal prison for defrauding customers and investors in crypto exchange FTX.

11:55 a.m. ET, March 28, 2024
Judge Kaplan: SBF wanted to be a ‘hugely, hugely politically influential person’

Kaplan says many facts are not disputed, including that SBF had “an exceptionally privileged background.”

“He is extremely smart. And he suffers from autism,” Kaplan said, noting his understanding of the condition. Kaplan said SBF “is capable of huge accomplishments” while noting he has “a way of interacting with people that’s unusual and sometimes off-putting.”

Kaplan agreed with prosecutors’ claim that Bankman-Fried “wanted to be a hugely, hugely politically influential person in this country,” and that that propelled his financial crimes.

12:11 p.m. ET, March 28, 2024
How SBF’s 25-year sentence stacks up to other white-collar criminals

Sam Bankman-Fried’s sentence of 25 years puts him at the high end for sentence length in prominent white-collar fraud cases. He faced over 100 years in prison under federal sentencing guidelines.

Ahead of him is Bernard Madoff, who was sentenced to 150 years behind bars for the $20 billion Ponzi scheme he led — the largest financial fraud in history. He died around 12 years into his sentence.

Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes, meanwhile, is serving a much shorter sentence than Bankman-Fried. Holmes was convicted on four charges of defrauding investors while running the failed blood-testing startup Theranos. She faced a maximum of 20 years in prison but was sentenced to a little over 11 years. She began serving her sentence in May of last year.

Her counterpart, Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, the former COO of Theranos and ex-boyfriend of Holmes, was sentenced to nearly 13 years in prison. He also faced up to 20 years.

11:26 a.m. ET, March 28, 2024
Prosecutor: FTX fraud “was not a bloodless financial loss on paper”

After Bankman-Fried addressed the court, prosecutor Nicolas Roos offered a sobering counter-argument that FTX was “created with criminality that was pervasive throughout.”

“Sam Bankman-Fried stole over $8 billion in customer money, and I emphasize stole because it was not a liquidity crisis, or an active mismanagement, or poor oversight from the top,” Roos said. “It was not a bloodless financial loss on paper.”

11:12 a.m. ET, March 28, 2024
SBF: “My useful life is probably over”

Bankman-Fried told the court he’d been pained to see FTX’s customers suffer.

“It’s been excruciating to watch,” he said. “Customers don’t deserve any of that pain.”

As CEO, he was responsible for that pain, he said. But “I’m not the one that matters at the end of the day — it’s the customers and employees affected that matter.”

Seeming to acknowledge his looming prison sentence, he said: “My useful life is probably over. It’s been over for a while now.”

0:57 a.m. ET, March 28, 2024
SBF: The collapse of FTX “haunts me every day”

In a meandering statement to the court, Bankman-Fried admitted that he made “a series of bad decisions” as the CEO of FTX.

He commended his former business partners, including co-founder Gary Wang and his ex-girlfriend Caroline Ellison, both of whom testified against him in trial in compliance with their plea agreements.

Together, they all “built something beautiful,” Bankman-Fried said.

“And I threw it all away,” he added. “It haunts me every day.”

10:48 a.m. ET, March 28, 2024
SBF addresses the court: “I am sorry”

After his lawyer spoke, Bankman-Fried addressed the court directly.

“A lot of people feel really let down, and they were very let down, and I am sorry about that.” he said. “I am sorry about what happened at every stage. And there are things I should’ve done and things I shouldn’t have.”

11:08 a.m. ET, March 28, 2024
SBF has been tutoring fellow inmates

Bankman-Fried’s lawyers are trying to counter the government’s narrative that the former crypto billionaire was motivated by greed and hubris.

While locked up in the Metropolitan Detention Center since August, Bankman-Fried has been tutoring fellow inmates who are pursuing their GEDs, his lawyer told the court during SBF’s sentencing hearing.

Bankman-Fried’s mother also noted in pre-sentencing letter to the court that he has also “helped two inmates who are facing close to a lifetime in prison for crimes they likely did not commit to find competent counsel prepared their case.”

She added: “The mother of one of the inmates reached out to me about three months ago to ‘ask me to pass along her gratitude to Sam, who she said has given her son a reason to live for the first time since his arrest four years ago.”

11:04 a.m. ET, March 28, 2024
SBF lawyer: “Sam was not a ruthless financial killer”

Sam Bankman-Fried’s attorney Marc Mukasey told the court that “Sam was not a ruthless financial serial killer who set out every morning to hurt people.”

“His real motivations were misapprehended and misunderstood,” Mukasey said. “Really he’s an awkward math nerd…He loves video games and veganism, and he’s compassionate to animals.”

Mukasey added that Bankman-Fried still believes he could’ve fixed the problem at FTX if he’d had the time.

10:11 a.m. ET, March 28, 2024
Judge Kaplan says Bankman-Fried also committed perjury

Kaplan also said he found that Bankman-Fried committed perjury during his trial testimony. He falsely testified that he had no knowledge that Alameda had spent FTX customer deposits before the fall of 2022, the judge said.

10:10 a.m. ET, March 28, 2024
Judge says SBF committed witness tampering

Judge Kaplan said he found that Bankman-Fried committed witness tampering before he was remanded into custody when he communicated with the former FTX general counsel.

10:20 a.m. ET, March 28, 2024
Judge Kaplan finds losses to victims

Judge Kaplan said he found that the loss amount to victims of Bankman-Fried’s crimes exceeds $550 million — the high end of the range given by federal sentencing guidelines. Kaplan said he found there was a loss to investors of $1.7 billion, a loss to Alameda lenders of $1.3 billion and a loss to FTX customers of $8 billion.

In their pre-sentencing memos, SBF’s lawyers argued that there was no loss to any victims, arguing that they will be made whole in the bankruptcy process. “I reject entirely that there was no actual loss,” the judge said.

To say that FTX customers and creditors will be paid in full “is misleading, it is logically flawed, it is speculative,” Kaplan said.(abcnews: “The defendant’s argument hinges on what amounts to an assumption that customers of FTX are going to be made whole in the bankruptcy,” Kaplan said prior to issuing the sentence. “The defendant’s assertion that FTX customers and creditors will be paid in full is misleading; it is logically flawed.”)

Still Kaplan says he intends to give Bankman-Fried a prison term below the maximum sentencing guidelines when he ultimately hands down the 32-year-old’s sentence.

A judge is not required to adhere sentencing guidelines.

Andrew Dietderich, a lawyer involved in handling the bankruptcy estate of FTX, told a Delaware judge last month that he anticipates customers will be repaid in full.

He cautioned though that “this not as a guarantee, but as an objective.”

“There is still a great amount of work and risk between us and that result, but we believe the objective is within reach and we have a strategy to achieve it,” Dietderich said.

9:43 a.m. ET, March 28, 2024
Sam Bankman-Fried arrives in court

Sam Bankman-Fried has arrived in court to await his sentencing for his role in the massive crypto fraud at FTX, the company he founded.

He was not shackled, but he held his hands behind his back as he walked in.

9:29 a.m. ET, March 28, 2024
FTX’s downfall created a damaging ripple effect for crypto

Bankman-Fried’s crypto trading firm’s bankruptcy, in the fall of 2022, unleashed a financial contagion in the cryptocurrency world.

Immediately following FTX’s crash, crypto exchange Gemini, which was founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, froze customer redemptions in its lending unit, citing market turmoil. Its lending unit later filed for bankruptcy.

Just a few weeks after FTX’s bankruptcy, another crypto lender, BlockFi, also went bust. The company said it had “significant exposure” to FTX and its sister firm Alameda.

Other cryptocurrency firms like Coinbase and Binance conducted significant layoffs after FTX’s downfall and the decline of the value of bitcoin and other digital currencies.

Since then, crypto markets have rebounded significantly. Bitcoin, a bellwether for the market, recently hit its all-time high of $73,750.

9:08 a.m. ET, March 28, 2024
How long might Bankman-Fried’s sentence be?

It seems clear that Bankman-Fried, who is appealing his conviction, will go to prison. But the length of that sentence is entirely in the hands of Judge Lewis Kaplan of the Southern District of New York.

Prosecutors have asked for 40-50 years. Lawyers for Bankman-Fried, who turned 32 this month, have pushed back, calling that a “medieval…death-in-prison sentencing recommendation.” They say a sentence of no more than six and a half years is appropriate for a non-violent first-time offender.

Kaplan will weigh those recommendations, as well as the Probation Department’s guidance — which, at 100 years, had even prosecutors deeming it unnecessarily harsh. He can also consider a range of other factors in his own assessment, including Bankman-Fried’s age and whether the judge believes the former crypto billionaire is likely to commit more crimes.

9:00 a.m. ET, March 28, 2024
Bankman-Fried’s parents arrive at the court

Barbara Fried and Allan Joseph Bankman, parents of FTX Co-Founder Sam Bankman-Fried, arrive at federal court on March 28, 2024 in New York City.

Sam Bankman-Fried’s parents arrived at the Manhattan court early Thursday for their son’s sentencing.

Joe Bankman and Barbara Fried are both tenured Stanford law professors and live in California. They were spotted at their son’s Manhattan trial, and featured prominently in the case.

In September, a lawsuit against Bankman and Fried claims the couple discussed with their son transferring a $10 million cash gift and a $16.4 million luxury property in the Bahamas to them, even as the company was on the verge of insolvency.

Despite Bankman-Fried’s assertions that his parents weren’t involved in “any of the relevant parts” of FTX, the lawsuit claims that his parents played a role from the beginning.

Bankman, a renowned tax attorney, repeatedly described FTX as a “family business,” the filing states.

It describes Bankman as having broad oversight of the company as early as 2018, both as an unofficial adviser and later as a paid employee.

Fried, an expert in legal ethics, never held a formal position within her son’s crypto empire, but the lawsuit claims she also played a role as an adviser, particularly when it came to Bankman-Fried’s copious political contributions. She described herself as her son’s “partner in crime of the noncriminal sort,” the lawsuit claims.

As a result of the lawsuit against Bankman and Fried, Stanford University has said it will be returning gifts it received from FTX “in their entirety.”

8:48 a.m. ET, March 28, 2024
Who is Sam Bankman-Fried, aka SBF?

A year and a half ago, Sam Bankman-Fried was living in the Bahamas as a crypto superstar, running a celebrity-backed startup, surrounded by fans and friends who believed he was the real deal: an MIT math whiz. A visionary who ditched the Wall Street track to chart his own course. A philanthropist building a fortune that, he repeatedly said, he intended to give away entirely.

Bankman-Fried, known as SBF, began his career as a trader at Jane Street Capital after studying math and physics at MIT. In 2017, he left Jane Street to strike out on his own, starting a cryptocurrency hedge fund he called Alameda Research. The firm’s first office was a two-bedroom Airbnb in North Berkeley, California.

His entrepreneurial drive didn’t stop there: In 2019, Bankman-Fried co-founded cryptocurrency exchange FTX and became its CEO.

He later hired his former Jane Street colleague Caroline Ellison as a trader at Alameda. She later became the firm’s CEO and, at times, Bankman-Fried’s girlfriend. She also became the prosecution’s star witness, testifying that she and others carried out financial crimes under Bankman-Fried’s direction.

In January 2022, as cryptocurrency prices were still hovering near all-time highs, FTX was valued at $32 billion, with high-profile investors like SoftBank and BlackRock. In November 2022, the company filed for bankruptcy after experiencing billions of dollars worth of net withdrawals.

8:48 a.m. ET, March 28, 2024
What happened to FTX?

FTX, founded by Bankman-Fried in 2019, billed itself as a safe and easy way to start trading cryptocurrencies – digital assets whose values are based largely on a collective hope for their future application, which remains murky.

In the early 2020s, with US interest rates at zero and millions of amateur investors stuck at home, FTX’s popularity as a crypto portal skyrocketed. By 2022, FTX was airing Super Bowl ads and plastering its name on the Miami Heat’s arena.

But FTX collapsed into bankruptcy on November 11, 2022, after what was effectively a run on the bank – a customer panic sparked by a leaked document that suggested irregular financial dealings between FTX and another firm owned by Bankman-Fried.

But, unlike bank customers, FTX depositors had no federal insurance fund to compensate them when the cash dried up. And despite FTX’s public assurances that it didn’t invest or move customer deposits in any way, Bankman-Fried’s other firm had been secretly siphoning deposits to repay its own lenders, underwrite executives’ luxury lifestyles, gamble in crypto markets and funnel millions of dollars in US political campaigns.

8:48 a.m. ET, March 28, 2024
What was Sam Bankman-Fried found guilty of?

Bankman-Fried was found guilty in November of seven federal counts of fraud and conspiracy.

Put simply, prosecutors say he not only stole from customers and deceived investors, but he also engaged his business partners in the scheme and subsequent cover-up.

In total, prosecutors say the fraud amounted to $10 billion, including $8 billion siphoned from FTX customers without their knowledge or consent.

Here’s what the seven counts mean:

Crimes against FTX customers: Counts one, two and six

Count one: Wire fraud on customers of FTX
•Wire fraud is a kind of arcane-sounding name for when someone uses electronic communications — email, texts, tweets — to further a criminal act. The government says Bankman-Fried knowingly and willfully participated in a scheme to steal from customers.
•Fraud is a broad term but in general refers to a plan to deprive another person of money or property through false or deceptive means.

Count Two: Conspiracy to commit wire fraud on customers of FTX
•This is the same as the above, but it involves at least one other person as a co-conspirator. In this case, three of the government’s cooperating witnesses have pleaded guilty to being co-conspirators with SBF in the hopes of securing a lighter sentence.

Count Six: Conspiracy to commit commodities fraud on customers of FTX
•This count refers to knowingly participating in a scheme involving the sale of commodities (or crypto swaps) under the purview of the US derivatives regulator, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, or CFTC.
•In this case, cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum are being treated as commodities subject to CFTC oversight.

Fraud against lenders: Counts three, four and five

Counts three and four: Wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud on lenders to Alameda Research
•These are similar to counts one and two (fraud against customers), but refers to the companies that gave loans to Alameda.

Count Five: Conspiracy to commit securities fraud on investors in FTX
•This charge refers to a scheme to defraud or make false statements about a security. In this case, the security is FTX stock. (While not a publicly traded firm, FTX raised capital by selling equity in the company to investors.)
•The government contends that Bankman-Fred lied to investors about the financial ties between FTX and Alameda.

Cover-up: Count seven

Count Seven: Conspiracy to commit money laundering
•Money laundering, broadly, is concealing the source of money that’s obtained from illicit activities — such as embezzlement or gambling.

2024.3.29,(2024.3.29媒体报道)经过简短的听证会后,法官卡普兰判处班克曼·弗里德 25 年监禁。
萨姆·班克曼-弗里德即将入狱。他不会在安全级别最高的设施中度过时间,他会被安置在尽可能靠近旧金山湾区家人的地方,但他还是会入狱——在接下来的 25 年。
关于班克曼-弗里德有一颗金子般的心的断言——他的动机仅仅是出于利他主义的冲动,是一个“美丽的谜题”,“他的核心是可怕的悲伤”——对卡普兰来说同样没有说服力。人们也试图用班克曼-弗里德的自闭症诊断来解释他的一些糟糕选择,包括试图篡改证人。
在卡普兰眼中,班克曼-弗里德有效的利他主义是“一种表演”——他的律师和家人试图将他描绘成一个心地温和、“笨拙的数学书呆子”,卡普兰法庭上的班克曼-弗里德是一个渴望权力、骗子、沉迷于鲁莽赌博的人,对自己的罪行没有充分表达悔意,并且“对真相有着非凡的灵活性”。
“当他没有完全撒谎时,他经常会闪烁其辞、吹毛求疵、回避问题,并试图让检察官以他认为比如实回答所提出的问题危害性较小的方式重新表述问题。”卡普兰说。 “我从事这项工作已经近 30 年了,我从未见过这样的表演。”
卡普兰说,班克曼-弗里德很执着,并且是“一位出色的营销人员”,他已经利用自己的“技能和动力”试图改变媒体围绕他的案件的叙述。
法庭场景
虽然到 8 点 30 分只有 65 人排队,但到实际宣读判决时,法庭和分流室已经挤满了人。分流室里大约有 100 人,法庭上只有站着的人。
班克曼-弗里德的父母出席了审判。
刘易斯·卡普兰法官语气温和,但在宣读判决时对班克曼·弗里德的态度相当严厉:“我们没有听到的是承担撒谎、盗窃或欺诈的责任。他承认犯了错误,但他没有承认是自己犯了错误。”
周四的听证会相对简短。法官详细介绍了量刑指南,给受害者发言的机会,听取了辩方和检方的结案陈词,然后宣布了他的判决。整个听证会持续了大约两个小时。

SBF Is Going to Prison for 25 Years
A judge sentenced Bankman-Fried to a quarter century after a brief hearing.

Sam Bankman-Fried is going to prison. He won’t be spending time in a maximum security facility, and he’ll be placed as close to his family in the San Francisco Bay Area as possible, but he’s going to prison nonetheless – and he’ll be there for the next 25 years.

Bankman-Fried was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison yesterday, nearly six months after being convicted on a host of fraud charges tied to his role in the implosion of the FTX exchange and Alameda Research trading firm in November 2022.

The sentence is lengthy, but it could have been much harsher – it’s only a quarter of the 105 years recommended by the Department of Probation, and roughly half of the 40-50 year sentence prosecutors pushed the New York court overseeing Bankman-Fried’s case to impose.

That said, it’s also much higher than the five to 6.5 year sentence Bankman-Fried and his lawyers were hoping for.

The defense relied on a combination of arguments – most importantly, that no one actually lost money in the FTX collapse because the estate has pledged to pay them back – and character statements about Bankman-Fried to support their conclusions that it was, essentially, unfair to compare their client to other “stone cold financial assassins,” as lead defense attorney Marc Mukasey put it, like Bernie Madoff and Karl Greenwood.

Kaplan tossed out the first argument as bunk, saying he “reject[ed] entirely” the defense’s argument that no one was hurt in the collapse and describing it as “misleading… logically, flawed…and speculative”.

The assertions that Bankman-Fried had a heart of gold – that he was motivated solely by altruistic impulses and was a “beautiful puzzle” with “a terrible sadness at his core” – were equally unpersuasive to Kaplan. So too were attempts to use Bankman-Fried’s autism diagnosis as an explanation for some of his poor choices, including attempted witness tampering.

In Kaplan’s eyes, Bankman-Fried’s effective altruism was “an act” – instead of the gentle-souled, “awkward math nerd” his lawyers and family attempted to paint him as, the Bankman-Fried of Kaplan’s courtroom was power-hungry, a liar, someone drawn to reckless gambling who’d insufficiently expressed remorse for his crimes and had an “exceptional flexibility with the truth.”

“When he wasn’t outright lying, he was often evasive, hairsplitting, dodging questions and trying to get the prosecutor to reword questions in ways that he could answer in ways he thought less harmful than a truthful answer to the question that was posed would have been,” he said. “I’ve been doing this job for close to 30 years. I’ve never seen a performance quite like that.”

Kaplan pointed out three instances of perjury during Bankman-Fried’s trial testimony taking care to stress repeatedly that they were not the only instances, just enough to make his point.

Kaplan seemed particularly struck by Caroline Ellison’s testimony that Bankman-Fried was drawn to coin-flips, that he was willing to take enormous risks as long as there was a miniscule chance he’d succeed.

“In other words, a man willing to flip a coin as to the continued existence of life and civilization on earth, if the chances were imperceptibly greater that it would come out without that catastrophic outcome, that’s really a leitmotif in my judgment of this entire case,” Kaplan mused.

Though Mukasey said his “awkward math nerd” client had been sufficiently deterred by his six-month stint in a Brooklyn jail to prevent him from ever committing another financial crime, Kaplan disagreed, arguing that a longer sentence was necessary to deter Bankman-Fried from committing another serious financial crime.

Bankman-Fried is persistent, Kaplan said, and “a great marketing guy” who’d already used his “skills and drive” to attempt to shift the media narrative surrounding his case.

“It doesn’t take much imagination to see the outlines of the campaign [Bankman-Fried could use to rehabilitate his reputation],” Kaplan said. “The risk that this man will be in the position to do something very bad in the future – it’s not a trivial risk. It’s not a trivial risk at all.”

Kaplan also seemed to take seriously his duty to the public, to hand down a sentence that most people agree means Bankman-Fried gets his just desserts.

“At the end of the day, the criminal justice system in this country can enjoy the support of the public … only if, on the whole, people think it works fairly,” Kaplan said. “That’s what we depend on. If that’s not happening, we’re back to trial by combat, folks.”

With trial by combat out of the question (at least, for now), Bankman-Fried will have to serve his time the old-fashioned way. Kaplan did take his autism diagnosis and gentle nature into account in one regard – he recommended that Bankman-Fried be placed in a medium or low-security federal prison, preferably one that’s close to San Francisco, where his parents live, arguing that his autism, notoriety, and perceived wealth would make him vulnerable in a maximum security facility.

For those wondering if Bankman-Fried will get out early on good behavior, he won’t – not really. Thanks to the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984, Bankman-Fried – like all other federal prisoners – will only be eligible for a maximum 15% reduction for good behavior. Of course, everything could change in the (unlikely) case his lawyers successfully appeal the verdict, which they told the court Thursday they plan to do.

His lawyers have 14 days to submit an appeal.

Courtroom scenes

•While only 65 people lined up by 8:30, the courtroom and overflow room were packed by the time the sentence was actually read. There were roughly 100 people in the overflow room, and the courtroom was standing-room only.

•Bankman-Fried’s parents were present, as they have been through the trial.

•Judge Lewis Kaplan spoke in a gentle tone, but was pretty harsh toward Bankman-Fried while reading the sentence: “What we did not hear is accepting responsibility for lying, for stealing, or for fraud. He recognizes errors were made. He does not recognize, though, that they were because of wrongs he committed. He didn’t swear off doing it again. As a matter of fact, I was struck at the end by the comments that there is an opportunity here, that there is an opportunity that someone, maybe his former coworkers, maybe someone else, could relaunch FTX, or something of an equivalent and, without the mismanagement or the liquidity crisis, things could work out. And that, I submit, tells the Court exactly where things could be. We cannot see into the future.”

•Similarly, while the judge used three specific examples of where he believed Bankman-Fried committed perjury (citing Bankman-Fried’s testimony about Alameda spending FTX customer funds, Alameda having an $8 billion liability or about Alameda needing customer funds to repay third-party loans), he said those were not the only times.

•Thursday’s hearing was relatively brief. The judge walked through the sentencing guidelines (finding they added to 1,320 months, or 110 years, in prison), gave victims a chance to speak, heard closing arguments from the defense and prosecution and then announced his sentence. The entire hearing lasted roughly two hours.

What we’re expecting

Bankman-Fried may have been sentenced in his criminal trial, but this process isn’t over yet. He has 14 days to file an appeal, and his attorney said he would in court on Thursday.

In the meantime, Bankman-Fried technically still faces civil cases brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

The agencies might still seek to ban Bankman-Fried from being an officer or having a role in publicly-traded companies that participate in derivatives markets in future. They’ll also have to sort out any additional forfeiture or restitution issues that may be in play.

Separately, now that Bankman-Fried has been sentenced, we should start seeing sentencing hearings and memos for his fellow former executives turned prosecution witnesses. Namely, Caroline Ellison, Gary Wang, Nishad Singh and Ryan Salame (who didn’t testify).

Still, this is it for now. If there’s enough reader interest, we’ll absolutely bring this back for that as well. Until then, we’ll put a bow on this newsletter (again).

2024.3.28,(媒体报道)FTX 创始人 Sam Bankman-Fried 因证券欺诈阴谋而被判处 25 年监禁,该阴谋注定了他的加密货币交易所和相关对冲基金 Alameda Research 的灭亡。在曼哈顿联邦法院的判决中,Bankman-Fried 还被勒令支付 110 亿美元的没收款。刘易斯·卡普兰法官说:“这个人将来有可能做出非常糟糕的事情。”
曼哈顿联邦法院的判决明显低于联邦检察官希望对班克曼-弗里德判处的 40 到 50 年监禁,但比他的律师建议的 5 到 6 年半要长得多。
法官刘易斯·卡普兰 (Lewis Kaplan,78 岁) 在对这名 32 岁的男子宣判并命令他向美国政府支付 110 亿美元的罚金之前表示:“这个人将来有可能做出非常糟糕的事情。”
“这根本不是一个微不足道的风险,”卡普兰补充道。
卡普兰指出,他从未听到班克曼-弗里德“对犯下的可怕罪行表示悔恨”。
法官表示,在担任联邦法官的30年里,他“从未见过像班克曼-弗里德的庭审证词那样的表现”。
卡普兰说,如果班克曼-弗里德在检察官的盘问中没有“公然撒谎”,那么他就是“回避”。
“毫无疑问,班克曼-弗里德先生的名字现在在世界各地几乎都是烂泥,”法官说。
陪审团同样不相信班克曼-弗里德对事件的说法,于 去年11 月判定他犯有七项刑事罪名,并要求他对因证券欺诈阴谋而损失约 100 亿美元的客户资金负责。
美国助理检察官尼古拉斯·鲁斯(Nicolas Roos),坚持争辩判处最高五十年的监禁,称这是确保“被告不再犯同样罪行”的唯一方法。Roos 表示,FTX 在 2022 年底的崩溃并不是由于“流动性危机或管理不善行为”。检察官表示,这是对全球数十亿美元客户资金的“盗窃”。 “这是一个对人们产生重大影响的损失。”
班克曼-弗里德的律师马克·穆卡西(Marc Mukasey)在请求卡普兰宽大处理时,重点关注了他委托人的心理问题,并指出他的母亲说班克曼-弗里德“内心深处充满了悲伤”,这种悲伤“一直存在于他的生活中”。穆卡西指出,班克曼-弗里德曾在日记中写道,他“没有感到快乐或幸福”。“Sam并不是一个每天早上都出发去伤害别人的无情的金融连环杀手,”律师说。这位律师表示,相反,“他是一个笨拙的数学呆子”,有着“不知疲倦的职业道德”,他还将 FTX 创始人比作“一个美丽的谜题”。穆卡西认为,班克曼-弗里德不应该被放在“四乘四的铁盒子里”。
在对班克曼-弗里德判刑之前,卡普兰表示,他在 FTX 驳回了“被告没有造成损失的全部论点”,称这一说法“具有误导性、逻辑上有缺陷且具有投机性”。
班克曼·弗里德事件的受害者苏尼尔·卡夫里 (Sunil Kavuri) 随后谈到了他造成的损失。他描述了与数千名其他 FTX 欺诈受害者的谈话,其中一些人患有抑郁症,正在服用处方药来应对损失带来的创伤。“过去两年我每天都在受苦,”卡夫里说。 “我将继续受苦。”
曼哈顿联邦检察官达米安·威廉姆斯在宣判后的一份声明中表示,“塞缪尔·班克曼-弗里德精心策划了历史上最大的金融欺诈案之一。”威廉姆斯说:“他蓄意且持续的谎言表明他公然无视客户的期望,也不尊重法治,这一切都是为了他可以秘密地利用客户的钱来扩大自己的权力和影响力。”
班克曼-弗里德身穿卡其色囚服,脚踝处被铁链锁着,在大约20分钟的讲话中,他似乎短暂地情绪激动,对“很多错误”表示遗憾,但也将一些责任归咎于他人。他标志性的凌乱浓密的头发已经从审判时表现出的修剪整齐的样子恢复过来。

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried sentenced to 25 years for crypto fraud, to pay $11 billion in forfeiture

KEY POINTS
•FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the securities fraud conspiracy that doomed his cryptocurrency exchange and a related hedge fund, Alameda Research.
•Bankman-Fried also was ordered to pay $11 billion in forfeiture at the sentencing in Manhattan federal court.
•“There is a risk that this man will be in position to do something very bad in the future,” Judge Lewis Kaplan said.

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was sentenced to 25 years in prison on Thursday for the massive fraud and conspiracy that doomed his cryptocurrency exchange and a related hedge fund, Alameda Research.

The sentence in Manhattan federal court was significantly less than the 40 to 50 years in prison that federal prosecutors wanted for Bankman-Fried, but it was much more than the five to six-and-a-half years suggested by his attorneys.

“There is a risk that this man will be in position to do something very bad in the future,” Judge Lewis Kaplan said before sentencing the 32-year-old and ordering him to pay $11 billion in forfeiture to the U.S. government.

“And it’s not a trivial risk at all,” Kaplan added.

Kaplan noted he has never heard “a word of remorse for the commission of terrible crimes” from Bankman-Fried.

The judge said that in the 30 years on the federal bench, he had “never seen a performance” like Bankman-Fried’s trial testimony.

If Bankman-Fried was not “outright lying” during cross-examination by prosecutors, he was “evasive,” Kaplan said.

“There is absolutely no doubt that Mr. Bankman-Fried’s name right now is pretty much mud around the world,” the judge said.

Jurors at trial likewise did not buy Bankman-Fried’s version of events, convicting him in November of seven criminal counts and holding him responsible for losing about $10 billion in customer money due to the securities fraud conspiracy.

Prosecutors said Bankman-Fried led a conspiracy to loot customer money to make investments, fund political donations to both Democrats and Republicans and for his personal use, as well as to repay loans taken out by Alameda Research.

Before being sentenced, Bankman-Fried spoke contritely even as he suggested that the billions of dollars customers lost was the result of a “liquidity crisis” or “mismanagement,” not fraud.

“A lot of people feel really let down. And they were very let down,” he said. “And I’m sorry about that. I’m sorry about what happened at every stage.”

“My useful life is probably over,” he said while wearing a beige jailhouse jumpsuit. “It’s been over for a while now since before my arrest.”

“They built something really beautiful and I threw all of that away,” he said of his co-workers at FTX, a company once valued at $32 billion. “It haunts me every day.”

“It’s been excruciating to watch this all unfold,” he told Kaplan. “Customers don’t deserve this level of pain.”

“I was the CEO of FTX and I was responsible.”

But even as he took some responsibility, Bankman-Fried suggested that customers eventually would get back the money they placed with his exchange, and blamed a federal bankruptcy court for not making those customers whole yet.

Kaplan appeared to stop paying close attention at that point.

In response, Bankman-Fried crossed his arms and began rapidly tapping his right foot as he continued speaking.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicolas Roos, arguing for a prison sentence of up to five decades, scoffed at the picture painted by Bankman-Fried and his lawyers.

FTX’s collapse in late 2022 was not due to “a liquidity crisis or act of mismanagement,” Roos said. “It was the theft” of billions of dollars of customer money around the world, the prosecutor said. “It was a loss that affected people significantly.”

Bankman-Fried’s lawyer Marc Mukasey, in asking Kaplan for leniency, focused on his client’s psychological problems, noting that his mother said Bankman-Fried had “terrific sadness at his core,” which has been “a constant presence in his life.”

Mukasey noted that Bankman-Fried once wrote in his journal that he “doesn’t feel pleasure or happiness.”

“Sam was not a ruthless financial serial killer who set out every morning to hurt people,” the lawyer said.

Instead, “He’s an awkward math nerd” with a “tireless work ethic,” said the lawyer, who also compared the FTX founder to “a beautiful puzzle.”

Bankman-Fried should not be in a “four-by-four iron box,” Mukasey argued.

Before he sentenced Bankman-Fried, Kaplan said he rejected “the entirety of the defendant’s argument there was no loss” at FTX, calling that claim “misleading, logically flawed and speculative.”

Sunil Kavuri, a victim of Bankman-Fried, then talked about the damage he caused.

Bankman-Fried looked at Kavuri as he described speaking to thousands of other FTX fraud victims, several of whom are suffering from depression and taking prescription medication to deal with the trauma of their losses.

“I suffered every day for the past two years,” said Kavuri. “I continue to suffer.”

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Damian Williams, in a statement after the sentencing, said, “Samuel Bankman-Fried orchestrated one of the largest financial frauds in history.”

“His deliberate and ongoing lies demonstrated a brazen disregard for his 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 said.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said, “Anyone who believes they can hide their financial crimes behind wealth and power, or behind a shiny new thing they claim no one else is smart enough to understand, should think twice.”

Bankman-Fried’s family, in a statement, said, “We are heartbroken and will continue to fight for our son.” Both Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, who are Stanford Law professors, were sitting in the first row of the courtroom gallery during the sentencing.

Bankman-Fried plans to appeal his conviction and sentence.

Three other people, who all testified against Bankman-Fried at trial, are awaiting their own sentencings after pleading guilty to criminal charges related to FTX and Alameda Research.

They are Caroline Ellison, the Alameda Research CEO who at one time dated Bankman-Fried; FTX engineering chief Nishad Singh; and Gary Wang, the co-founder and chief technology officer of FTX.

Fallen crypto mogul Sam Bankman-Fried sentenced to 25 years in prison

Crypto entrepreneur Sam Bankman-Fried was sentenced Thursday to 25 years in prison for a massive fraud on hundreds of thousands of customers that unraveled with the collapse of FTX, once one of the world’s most popular platforms for exchanging digital currency.

Though he described Bankman-Fried as “extremely smart,” U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan delivered a blistering analysis of Bankman-Fried and his crimes before announcing a sentence that was half of what prosecutors sought and less than a quarter of the 105 years recommended by the court’s probation officers.

“There is absolutely no doubt that Mr. Bankman-Fried’s name right now is pretty much mud around the world,” Kaplan said of the 32-year-old California man who seemed atop the cryptocurrency universe before his businesses collapsed in November 2022, leaving customers, investors and lenders short over $11 billion, which the judge ordered him to forfeit.

He was convicted in November of fraud and conspiracy — a dramatic fall from a crest of success that included a Super Bowl advertisement, testimony before Congress and celebrity endorsements from stars like quarterback Tom Brady, basketball point guard Stephen Curry and comedian Larry David.

Kaplan imposed the sentence in the same Manhattan courtroom where, four months previously, Bankman-Fried testified that he had intended to revolutionize the emerging cryptocurrency market with his innovative and altruistic ideas, not steal.

The judge said Bankman-Fried repeatedly committed perjury on the witness stand in testimony that was “often evasive, hair-splitting, dodging questions.”

Kaplan said the sentence reflected the risk that Bankman-Fried “will be in position to do something very bad in the future. And it’s not a trivial risk at all.” He added that the sentence was fashioned “for the purpose of disabling him to the extent that can appropriately be done for a significant period of time.”

Kaplan said he would advise the Federal Bureau of Prisons to send Bankman-Fried to a medium-security prison near San Francisco because his notoriety, his association with vast wealth, his autism and his social awkwardness are likely to make him especially vulnerable at a high-security facility.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicolas Roos had recommended a prison sentence of 40 to 50 years, saying it was the only way to ensure “the defendant doesn’t do it again.”

Prosecutors said tens of thousands of people and companies worldwide lost billions of dollars since 2017 after Bankman-Fried looted FTX customer accounts that he promised were safe to make millions of dollars of illegal political donations, make risky investments, buy luxury real estate in the Caribbean and live lavishly.

Kaplan agreed with prosecutors Thursday that Bankman-Fried should not be credited because some investors and customers might recover some money. He noted that customers lost about $8 billion, investors lost $1.7 billion and lenders were shorted by $1.3 billion.

When he spoke, Bankman-Fried stood and apologized in a rambling statement: “A lot of people feel really let down. And they were very let down. And I’m sorry about that. I’m sorry about what happened at every stage.”

He added, “My useful life is probably over. It’s been over for a while now, from before my arrest.”

Wearing his khaki-colored prison uniform and chained at the ankles, Bankman-Fried seemed to briefly get emotional as he spoke for about 20 minutes, expressing regret about “a lot of mistakes” but casting some blame onto others. His trademark messy and bushy hair had returned from the trimmer look he displayed at trial.

He praised some of his former executives and workmates, saying: “They threw themselves into it and then I threw all of that away. It haunts me every day.”

Kaplan later criticized Bankman-Fried’s remarks, saying he expressed “never a word of remorse for the commission of terrible crimes.”

As his misty-eyed client looked on, defense attorney Marc Mukasey said the portrayal of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate as an “arrogant greedy swindler who thought he would get away with fleecing the hard-earned money of hard-working people” was wrong.

“Sam was not a ruthless financial serial killer who set out every morning to hurt people,” Mukasey said in court after urging in court papers that any prison sentence be in the single digits. “Sam Bankman-Fried doesn’t make decisions with malice in his heart. He makes decisions with math in his head.”

The judge later criticized Bankman-Fried’s calculations, saying he was indeed “a math nerd, who looked at decisions in terms of math, expected value.”

He cited trial testimony in which Bankman-Fried’s former girlfriend and fellow executive Caroline Ellison said Bankman-Fried once told her that his willingness to embrace risk was such that he’d be happy to flip a coin if it came up tails and the world was destroyed — as long as if it came up heads, the world would be twice as good.

The judge said Bankman-Fried utilized that risk-taking nature at his companies, “betting on expected value” and weighing the risk of getting caught with the probability of large gains.

“That was the game,” Kaplan said. “It’s his nature.”

Bankman-Fried’s attorneys, friends and family had urged leniency, saying he was unlikely to re-offend. They also said FTX’s investors have largely recovered their funds — a claim disputed by bankruptcy lawyers, FTX and its creditors.

“Mr. Bankman-Fried continues to live a life of delusion,” wrote John Ray, the CEO of FTX who has been cleaning up the bankrupt company. “The ‘business’ he left on November 11, 2022 was neither solvent nor safe.”

One FTX customer, Sunil Kavuri, spoke at sentencing, saying he’d traveled from London on behalf of over 200 victims who had sent impact statements to the judge.

He said he’d spoken to other “victims just like myself who had their dreams destroyed” and had lived “the FTX nightmare every day for almost two years, every day, every night, a lot of crying, sleepless nights.”

Bankman-Fried’s parents, both Stanford Law School professors, did not speak as they left the courthouse Thursday, but later issued a statement: “We are heartbroken and will continue to fight for our son.”

Bankman-Fried, of Palo Alto, California, was once worth billions of dollars on paper as the co-founder and CEO of FTX, which was the second-largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world at one time.

FTX let investors buy dozens of virtual currencies, from Bitcoin to more obscure ones like Shiba Inu Coin. Flush with billions of dollars of investors’ cash, Bankman-Fried took out a Super Bowl advertisement to promote his business and bought the naming rights to an arena in Miami.

But the collapse of cryptocurrency prices in 2022 took its toll on FTX, ultimately leading to its downfall. FTX’s hedge fund affiliate, Alameda Research, had bought billions of dollars of various crypto investments that lost considerable amounts of value in 2022. Bankman-Fried tried to plug the holes in Alameda’s balance sheet with FTX customer funds.

Three people from Bankman-Fried’s inner circle pleaded guilty to related crimes and testified at his trial.

Besides Ellison, two onetime friends of Bankman-Fried — Gary Wang and Nishad Singh — testified they felt they were directed by Bankman-Fried to commit fraud.

2024.3.28,(司法部新闻稿)塞缪尔·班克曼·弗里德 (Samuel Bankman-Fried),又名 SBF,32 岁,来自加利福尼亚州斯坦福市,今天因策划多项欺诈计划而被判处 25 年监禁,三年监督释放,并被责令支付 110 亿美元没收金。

PRESS RELEASE
Samuel Bankman-Fried Sentenced to 25 Years for His Orchestration of Multiple Fraudulent Schemes
Thursday, March 28, 2024

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

Samuel Bankman-Fried, also known as SBF, 32, of Stanford, California, was sentenced today to 25 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $11 billion in forfeiture for his orchestration of multiple fraudulent schemes. Bankman-Fried, who was the founder of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX and the cryptocurrency trading firm Alameda Research, misappropriated billions of dollars of customer funds deposited with FTX, defrauded investors in FTX of more than $1.7 billion, and defrauded lenders to Alameda of more than $1.3 billion. Bankman-Fried was previously found guilty on two counts of wire fraud, two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit commodities fraud, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, following a one-month trial before U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, who imposed today’s sentence.

“There are serious consequences for defrauding customers and investors,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, “Anyone who believes they can hide their financial crimes behind wealth and power, or behind a shiny new thing they claim no one else is smart enough to understand, should think twice. I am grateful to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the FBI for their outstanding work in bringing Mr. Bankman-Fried to justice.”

“The FBI will aggressively investigate individuals, like Samuel Bankman-Fried, who engage in fraudulent schemes at the expense of the American public and our financial systems,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “We are proud of the successful collaboration that ended this massive mismanagement and misappropriation of billions of dollars. Today’s sentencing should serve as a warning to others looking to use fraudulent means for personal gain — there are consequences for your actions.”

“Samuel Bankman-Fried orchestrated one of the largest financial frauds in history, stealing over $8 billion of his customers’ money,” said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams for the Southern District of New York. “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. 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. As a result of his unprecedented fraud, Bankman-Fried faces 25 years in prison and forfeiture of over $11 billion dollars. 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.”

According to the allegations contained in the indictment, the evidence offered at trial, and matters included in public filings:

Samuel Bankman-Fried was the founder and chief executive officer of FTX, an international cryptocurrency exchange. From 2019 to 2022, Bankman-Fried was the leader and mastermind of a scheme to defraud customers of FTX by misappropriating billions of dollars of those customers’ funds. Bankman-Fried took FTX customer funds for his personal use, to make investments and millions of dollars of political contributions to candidates from both parties, and to repay billions of dollars in loans owed by Alameda Research, a cryptocurrency trading fund that Bankman-Fried also founded. Bankman-Fried also defrauded lenders to Alameda and equity investors in FTX by providing them false and misleading financial information that concealed his misuse of customer deposits.

Samuel Bankman-Fried repeatedly told his customers, his investors, and the public that customer deposits into FTX were kept safe and were held in custody for the customers, that customer deposits were kept separate from company assets, and that customer deposits would not be used by FTX. He also repeatedly claimed that his trading company, Alameda, did not have any privileged access to FTX and did not receive special treatment from FTX. Those statements were false, and Bankman-Fried in fact channeled billions of dollars in customer deposits from FTX to Alameda, and then used those funds to make investments for his own benefit, to make political contributions, and to spend on real estate, among other expenditures. He employed a variety of fraudulent means to perpetrate this fraud. For instance, Bankman-Fried directed co-conspirators to alter FTX’s computer code to allow Alameda to withdraw effectively unlimited amounts of cryptocurrency from the exchange. Bankman-Fried also made false statements to financial institutions to conceal his misuse of customer dollar deposits. And he directed the creation of false financial statements for Alameda’s lenders, inflated FTX’s revenues and profits in numbers provided to investors, and backdated contracts and other documents to conceal his fraudulent conduct.

Judge Kaplan authorized the government to use the funds recovered through the forfeiture process to provide compensation to victims of Bankman-Fried’s crimes.

The FBI investigated the case.

The Southern District of New York’s Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force, with assistance from the office’s Illicit Finance & Money Laundering and Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Units are handling the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nicolas Roos, Danielle Sassoon, Samuel Raymond, Thane Rehn, and Danielle Kudla are prosecuting the case.

2024.3.28,(媒体报道)Sam Bankman-Fried FTX 欺诈受害者告诉法官:“我的一生都被毁了”
“在量刑材料中,检方移交了 FTX 前客户的账户资料,这些内容讲述了那些损失金钱的人所经历的毁灭性的打击、他们是否能拿回任何钱的不确定性,以及处理因损失而造成的情感后果。”范德比尔特大学法学教授兼副院长耶沙·亚达夫 (Yesha Yadav) 说。 “这些受害者影响陈述可能非常有力。”
亚达夫说:“对 SBF 来说不幸的是,他在审判中的一些证词给人的感觉是高度回避、有些冷酷且常常自相矛盾。”他补充说,20 至 25 年的刑期可以为卡普兰法官提供一种平衡犯罪严重性与承认客户康复和未来康复潜力的方法。
前联邦检察官 Neama Rahmani 将卡普兰描述为“老派”,并预计判处 20 至 30 年徒刑。
上午 9 点 30 分,量刑程序将在曼哈顿市中心联邦法院 26 楼进行,陪审团在 11 月就在同一地点裁定这位前加密货币高管犯有全部七项刑事罪名。

Sam Bankman-Fried FTX fraud victim tells judge: ‘My whole life has been destroyed’

KEY POINTS
•More than four months after he was convicted on seven charges by a New York jury, Sam Bankman-Fried is set to learn how long he’ll spend behind bars.
•Bankman-Fried faces a maximum sentence of more than 100 years in prison, though the government has suggested a sentence in the range of 40 to 50 years.
•Prosecutors won their case by convincing a jury that Bankman-Fried had stolen at least $8 billion from customers.

In a letter to the Department of Justice, an FTX customer who lost $4 million when the exchange filed for bankruptcy in 2022 expressed disgust at a circulating narrative that clients of the crypto exchange would ever be made whole.

“I have scraped the docket of scheduled claims and calculated the exact amount stolen,” wrote the former FTX customer, whose identity has been concealed by the government. “The total value of customer liabilities is $19,722,911,002.84.”

This week, that letter ended up on the desk of U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, who on Thursday will inform FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried of his prison sentence stemming from his role in the collapse of the exchange. At 9:30 a.m., sentencing proceedings will take place on the 26th floor of the federal courthouse in downtown Manhattan, the same place where a jury found the former crypto executive guilty of all seven criminal counts against him in November.

The victim, who wrote that 30 years worth of savings had been deposited into FTX three months before the exchange collapsed, is part of a last-minute push by prosecutors to sway Judge Kaplan ahead of the sentencing.

“My whole life has been destroyed,” the person wrote. “I have 2 young children, one born right before the collapse. Beyond the money, I lost my happiness, my ability to get out of bed, my desire to continue living. My wife is suicidal and depressed.”

The same sorts of stories were told during Bankman-Fried’s monthlong criminal trial last year. Prosecutors won their case by convincing jurors that Bankman-Fried had stolen at least $8 billion from customers. For some people, that meant financial ruin.

“In its sentencing submission, the prosecution has included moving accounts from FTX’s former customers that speak to the devastation experienced by those losing their money, the uncertainty of wondering whether they might ever get any of it back, and dealing with the emotional fallout of being duped,” said Yesha Yadav, law professor and Associate Dean at Vanderbilt University. “These victim impact statements can be very powerful.”

Bankman-Fried, 32, faces a maximum sentence of more than 100 years in prison, though the government has suggested a sentence in the range of 40 to 50 years. The defense is angling for no more than 6.5 years.

For months, Judge Kaplan has been weighing the appropriate punishment for Bankman-Fried’s crimes related to the implosion of his $32 billion crypto empire.

CNBC spoke to former federal prosecutors, trial attorneys, and a mix of lawyers working to defend white collar criminals to get their take on what to expect on Thursday.

Damaging testimony

Bankman-Fried was convicted of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud against FTX customers and against lenders to sister hedge fund Alameda Research, as well as conspiracy to commit securities fraud and conspiracy to commit commodities fraud against FTX investors, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

The defense team has argued that Bankman-Fried’s sentence should reflect the potential that FTX customers will be paid back in part or in full. The likelihood of that scenario has increased in recent months thanks to the rising value of cryptocurrencies and other assets FTX owned, such as its stake in artificial intelligence startup Anthropic.

Even as the bankruptcy estate promises to pay customers back, many of FTX’s thousands of victims argue that their crypto stakes have been significantly undervalued by the exchange’s new leadership team.

“A lot will be said about the loss at the time of the conduct, not the recovery or potential recovery after it was discovered,” said former federal and state prosecutor David Weinstein, who now practices as a corporate compliance and white collar defense attorney at Jones Walker. Weinstein said he expects to see a sentence in the range of 30 to 40 years.

Mark Bini, a former state and federal prosecutor and U.S. assistant attorney who specialized in financial crimes, anticipates a sentence of no less than 30 years.

“Probation calculates the guidelines at 110 years,” said Bini, who currently represents white collar crypto defendants as part of law firm Reed Smith’s On Chain digital asset team. “I think the judge is likely to side with probation and the government on the loss amount and the appropriate guidelines.”

Judge Kaplan, 78, is a veteran of the Southern District of New York and has presided over some of the biggest cases to roll through his courthouse. He showed little patience for Bankman-Fried during the defendant’s four days on the stand.

“Unfortunately for SBF, some of his testimony at trial came across as highly evasive, somewhat cold and often contradictory,” said Yadav, adding that a sentence of 20 to 25 years could offer Judge Kaplan a way to balance the severity of the crime with a recognition of customer recoveries and the potential for future rehabilitation.

Former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani described Kaplan as “old school” and predicted a sentence of 20 to 30 years.

Tre Lovell, a Los Angeles corporate law attorney, said the core factors Kaplan will consider will be the extent of the fraud, along with the fact that Bankman-Fried appeared to have lied under oath while showing little remorse.

“The judge isn’t going to cut Bankman-Fried a break just because FTX has recovered a lot of funds to offset the amount that customers lost,” Lovell said. “The judge is just going to look at Bankman-Fried’s conduct at the time he was in charge of the company, not what the company did after he stepped down as CEO.”

Bankman-Fried has one last chance to take the stand in front of the judge in order to show some level of contrition and a promise to become a benefit to society.

“If he says he’s had a chance to think about what he did and that he’s very sorry for misusing the hard-won funds of investors, and that he wants to use his acumen in this field for the public good, then he may walk out with a prison sentence that is south of 20 years,” Lovell said. “In court, it’s never too late to say you’re sorry. But he won’t get a big discount on his sentence just for being contrite.”

2024.3.19,FTX 创始人Sam Bankman-Fried的律师表示,美国司法部对 Sam Bankman-Fried 判处 50 年徒刑的提议“令人不安”,并声称政府正试图打破他们 32 岁的委托人的立场。
3月19日周二,班克曼-弗里德(Sam Bankman-Fried)的辩护团队律师Marc Mukasey(马克·穆卡西)和Torrey Young写信给法官Lewis Kaplan(刘易斯·卡普兰),反驳了司法部上周(3月15日)提交的所谓“令人不安”的量刑备忘录,称司法部正在将 FTX 创始人伪装成他不是的人。
“这份备忘录充满了明显的敌意,歪曲了现实以支持其宝贵的‘损失’叙述,并将Sam描绘成一个堕落的超级恶棍;它归因于他的黑暗和狂妄的动机,这些动机与Sam的良好记录相悖。它做出了累犯的世界末日预言;它采用了中世纪的惩罚观点,以达到相当于监狱死刑的量刑建议,”班克曼-弗里德的律师写道。 “这不是正义。”
律师们提出了多项论点来证明班克曼-弗里德减刑的合理性。
In the latest letter to the court, attorneys highlighted the government’s narrative as distorting reality, emphasizing that their portrayal of Sam Bankman-Fried as a “depraved super-villain” is both unfair and inaccurate. The defense’s argument pivots on the assertion that no real financial losses were incurred by FTX customers or lenders, contrary to the government’s claims.
They emphasize that the bankruptcy proceedings are on track to make all affected parties whole, indicating that assets and funds were always available and not misappropriated by Bankman-Fried for personal gain. This, the lawyers argue, fundamentally undermines the government’s case for a severe sentence based on financial losses. Further, the letter criticizes the government’s portrayal of Bankman-Fried’s motives, challenging the depiction of him as driven by “unmatched greed.”
The defense counters this narrative by pointing to evidence of his longstanding philanthropic efforts and arguing that his financial decisions were aimed at corporate growth rather than personal enrichment. They also refute the claim that Bankman-Fried’s lifestyle and business expenses were indicative of personal greed, presenting them instead as standard operational costs. On the matter of recidivism, Bankman-Fried’s legal team contests the government’s speculative claims about his potential future behavior.
They argue that his lack of criminal history, higher education, and the unique circumstances of his case significantly reduce any risk of him re-offending. Citing studies and expert opinions, the defense attempts to make a compelling case for the effectiveness of much shorter sentences in deterring white-collar crime, suggesting that the proposed 50-year sentence is not only disproportionate but also counterproductive. It remains to be seen whether Judge Kaplan will view the situation through the same lens.

DOJ’s Proposed 50-Year Sentence for Sam Bankman-Fried ‘Disturbing,’asserting the government is attempting to break their 32-year-old client. FTX Founder’s Lawyers Say
Bankman-Fried’s defense team attacked prosecutors’ lengthy prison term recommendation in a new letter Tuesday.

On March 19, Bankman-Fried’s attorneys, Marc Mukasey and Torrey Young, wrote to Judge Lewis Kaplan in response to the government’s The sentencing recommendation was handed down on March 15.

Sam Bankman-Fried’s defense team pushed back against what it called the “disturbing” sentencing memorandum filed by the Department of Justice last week in a new letter, saying the DOJ was making the FTX founder out to be someone he was not.

“With marked hostility, the memorandum distorts reality to support its precious ‘loss’ narrative and casts Sam as a depraved super-villain; it attributes to him dark and megalomaniacal motives that fly in the face of the record; it makes apocalyptic prophecies of recidivism; and it adopts a medieval view of punishment to reach what amounts to a death-in-prison sentencing recommendation,” Tuesday’s filing said. “That is not justice.”

“With marked hostility, the memorandum distorts reality to support its precious ‘loss’ narrative and casts Sam as a depraved super-villain; it attributes to him dark and megalomaniacal motives that fly in the face of the record; it makes apocalyptic prophecies of recidivism; and it adopts a medieval view of punishment to reach what amounts to a death-in-prison sentencing recommendation,” Bankman-Fried’s lawyers wrote. “That is not justice.”

The lawyers made several arguments to justify a reduced sentence for Bankman-Fried.

They argued that there were no actual losses as the bankruptcy proceedings would result in all customers and lenders being made whole, with assets remaining in the estate.

Additionally, the lawyers argued that prosecutors falsely portrayed Bankman-Fried as greedy and driven by a desire to maximize personal wealth, contrasting this with his philanthropic efforts and supposedly modest lifestyle.

The pair also disputed the government’s claims that Bankman-Fried posed a high risk of re-offending, citing research on low recidivism rates for white-collar, educated offenders without prior records.

Finally, Bankman-Fried’s lawyers accused the prosecution of making unsupported claims, which included allegations that Bankman-Fried shirked responsibility and misrepresented sentencing data for comparable fraud cases.

“We have yet to identify a federal defendant convicted of a non-violent offense who served a 40–50 year sentence and was released,” they said.
“Crushing Sam in this way is unnecessary.”

Mukasey and Young claimed that Bankman-Fried had already lost “nearly everyone and everything” in his personal and professional life and proposed a reduced sentence of approximately five to six and a half years.
“If the government truly believes that Sam deserves to ‘return to liberty,’ then a significant downward variance from the proper guidelines range of 63–78 months is called for.”

2024.3.15,联邦检察官呼吁判处曾经的加密货币亿万富翁 Sam Bankman-Fried 40 至 50 年监禁,罪名是在其现已破产的加密货币交易所 FTX 中窃取客户数十亿美元并欺骗投资者。
周五,检察官在曼哈顿联邦法院提交的一份文件中表示:“FTX 欺诈行为的规模之大不仅仅取决于被盗资金的数量。” “FTX 的欺诈行为还可以通过受害者的数量和类型、欺诈的地理范围以及非法和不道德行为的广度和频率来衡量。”
检察官在量刑备忘录中写道:“即使现在,班克曼-弗里德仍然拒绝承认他的行为是错误的。” “近年来,他的生活充满了无与伦比的贪婪和傲慢;野心和自圆其说;并用别人的钱反复冒险和赌博。”
检察官指出,他优越的成长经历和精英教育是他应该面临特别严厉判决的原因。
他们写道:“他知道社会认为什么是非法和不道德的,但基于被告自己的价值观和优越感所引导的有害的狂妄自大,他无视了这一点。”
检察官写道,虽然“班克曼-弗里德应该受到严厉的制裁”,但“没有必要”判处超过 100 年的有效无期徒刑。
40至50年的刑期“凸显了对数千名受害者造成的伤害的极其严重性;防止被告再次实施欺诈;并向其他可能试图从事金融不当行为的人发出了一个强有力的信号,即后果将是严重的,”他们周五表示。
他的宣判定于 3 月 28 日进行。

Sam Bankman-Fried deserves 40-50 years in prison for FTX fraud: prosecutors

Sam Bankman-Fried should spend between 40 and 50 years in prison after being convicted for stealing $8 billion from customers of his now-bankrupt FTX cryptocurrency exchange, prosecutors said on Friday.

A jury found Bankman-Fried, 32, guilty in November on seven counts of fraud and conspiracy. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan said “thousands of everyday people” including residents of war-torn and unstable countries had entrusted their nest eggs to FTX.

“Even now Bankman-Fried refuses to admit what he did was wrong,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum. “His life in recent years has been one of unmatched greed and hubris; of ambition and rationalization; and courting risk and gambling repeatedly with other people’s money.”

They are seeking $11 billion in forfeiture, to account for losses FTX’s investors and Alameda’s lenders suffered as well.

The former billionaire’s lawyer Marc Mukasey told US District Judge Lewis Kaplan that a 5-1/4 to 6-1/2 year prison term would be appropriate. They said FTX clients would get most of their money back, and that Bankman-Fried did not set out to steal.

Mark Botnick, a spokesman for Bankman-Fried, said Mukasey would file a response next week to prosecutors’ memorandum.

Kaplan is scheduled to sentence Bankman-Fried on March 28 in Manhattan federal court. Bankman-Fried plans to appeal his conviction and sentence.

Bankman-Fried is the son of two Stanford Law School professors. A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Bankman-Fried worked on Wall Street before riding a boom in the values of digital assets such as bitcoin to a net worth Forbes magazine once estimated at $26 billion.

His fortune evaporated in November 2022, when FTX declared bankruptcy after a wave of customer withdrawals.

In their sentencing memorandum on Friday, prosecutors pointed to his privileged upbringing and elite education as reasons he should face an especially harsh sentence.

“He knew what society deemed illegal and unethical, but disregarded that based on a pernicious megalomania guided by the defendant’s own values and sense of superiority,” they wrote.

At his trial, three former close associates testified that Bankman-Fried directed them to loot FTX customer funds to plug losses at his Alameda Research hedge fund, while portraying himself publicly as a responsible steward in the volatile cryptocurrency market.

Prosecutors said Bankman-Fried also used customer funds to buy luxury real estate in the Bahamas and to donate to US politicians who might support cryptocurrency-friendly regulations.

So far, 251 political candidates and committees have returned to the government some $3.3 million in contributions from Bankman-Fried and other FTX executives, prosecutors said. President Biden’s campaign and the Republican National Committee are among those that have returned funds.

Bankman-Fried testified that he did not realize how much Alameda owed to FTX until shortly before both failed. His trial lasted one month.

In a letter to Kaplan, Bankman-Fried’s parents said their son took responsibility for the errors that led to FTX’s collapse, and worked hard before his arrest to help recover customers’ money.

Bankman-Fried was arrested in December 2022 in the Bahamas, where FTX was based, and extradited to the United States that month.

He has been jailed at Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center since August, when Kaplan revoked his bail after finding that he likely tampered with witnesses.

Prosecutors want Sam Bankman-Fried to serve 40 to 50 years in prison for FTX fraud

New York(CNN) — Federal prosecutors are calling for onetime crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried to be sentenced to 40-50 years in prison for stealing billions of dollars from customers and defrauding investors in his now-bankrupt crypto exchange, FTX.

Bankman-Fried, who turned 32 this month, was convicted in November of stealing more than $8 billion and engaging his employees in a yearslong coverup, in what prosecutors have called one of the largest financial frauds in history.

His sentencing is scheduled for March 28.

“The enormous scale of the fraud at FTX is measured not just by the amount of money that was stolen,” prosecutors said in a filing in Manhattan federal court on Friday. “The fraud at FTX may also be measured in the number and types of victims, in the fraud’s geographic reach, and in the breadth and frequency of the unlawful and unethical acts.”

Lawyers for Bankman-Fried have urged Judge Lewis Kaplan to consider a far shorter prison sentence of no more than six-and-a-half years. In a court filing last month, they argued that Bankman-Fried is a nonviolent offender who was abetted by at least four other people, who pleaded guilty to the crimes.

Under federal sentencing guidelines, Bankman-Fried could face a maximum sentence of 110 years. He currently resides in a Brooklyn jail while awaiting sentencing.

Prosecutors wrote that while “Bankman-Fried is deserving of a severe sanction,” an effective life sentence exceeding 100 years “is not necessary.”

A 40- to 50-year term “underscores the remarkably serious nature of the harm to thousands of victims; prevents the defendant from ever again committing fraud; and sends a powerful signal to others who might be tempted to engage in financial misconduct that the consequences will be severe,” they said Friday.

Bankman-Fried’s lawyer, Marc Mukasey, told CNN on Friday the defense would have a response “early next week.”


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