Former billionaire entrepreneur and FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison on Thursday after he was found guilty in November of seven counts, including wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, crimes that cost customers and lenders billions of dollars.

New York Judge Lewis Kaplan slapped Bankman-Fried, also known as SBF, with 25 years after prosecutors said the 32-year-old should face a sentence between 40-50 years, CNN reported. The judge found that following the collapse of the former billionaire’s cryptocurrency empire, investors, lenders, and customers lost more than $10 billion.

“He did it because he wanted to be a hugely, hugely political influential person in this country,” Kaplan said, according to The New York Post, adding, “He knew it was wrong, he knew it was criminal, he regrets that he made a very bad bet about the likelihood of being caught.”

Judge Kaplan also said in the sentencing hearing that SBF committed witness tampering and perjury during his monthslong trial when he communicated with the former FTX general counsel while in custody and falsely testified that he did not know that FTX’s sister hedge fund Alameda Research spent his customers’ deposits before the fall of 2022.

SBF’s lawyers argued that their client should only face six and a half years at most, saying, “His real motivations were misapprehended and misunderstood.”

“Really he’s an awkward math nerd…He loves video games and veganism, and he’s compassionate to animals,” attorney Marc Mukasey added.

Bankman-Fried addressed the court during the sentencing hearing and apologized, according to CNN.

“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.”

“My useful life is probably over. It’s been over for a while now,” the 32-year-old added.

He intends to appeal the conviction and sentence.


Along with becoming a giant in the crypto sphere, Bankman-Fried lobbied and donated millions of dollars to political campaigns and lawmakers. SBF donated nearly $40 million primarily to Democrat nominees and political action committees ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. He was also the second-largest donor to the 2020 Biden presidential campaign and was granted four meetings at the White House with senior advisers in the months before his companies filed for bankruptcy.

SBF also dumped millions of dollars into “pandemic prevention,” which included research into the development of new treatments, including for COVID-19. Before his company FTX collapsed, it was endorsed by athletes and celebrities such as Tom Brady and his ex-wife Gisele Bündchen, Stephen Curry, Kevin O’Leary, and Larry David, among others.

Last March, the Justice Department unsealed more charges for SBF, alleging that he “authorized and directed a bribe of at least $40 million to one or more Chinese government officials.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.