Corrupt crypto king Sam Bankman-Fried sentenced to 25 years in jail

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A Manhattan judge told Sam Bankman-Fried he was a “remorseless” scammer obsessed with political power as he sentenced the fallen crypto mogul to 25 years in prison on Thursday.

It comes five months after he was found guilty of stealing more than $8 billion of funds from customers of his now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX.

Judge Lewis Kaplan said the 32-year-old convicted fraudster “presented himself as the good guy” all in favour of “appropriate regulation of the crypto industry” — but it was just an “act.”

“He did it because he wanted to be a hugely, hugely political influential person in this country,” Kaplan said, blasting him as “remorseless,” reported the New York Post.

“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,” he continued, as Bankman-Fried stood in front of him with his hands clasped tightly at his waist.

Moments before the judge handed down the lengthy sentence, Bankman-Fried apologised for making “bad decisions” that “failed everyone I care about” — but maintained his actions “weren’t selfish.”

“At the end of the day, I failed everyone that I care about and everything that I care about, too,” he said at the hearing in Manhattan federal court.

“A lot of people feel really let down and, I’m sorry about that. I’m sorry about what happened at every stage,” the fallen crypto mogul, wearing light tan jail garb, continued.

“I made a series of bad decisions, they weren’t selfish decisions, they weren’t selfless decisions. They were bad decisions.”

Bankman-Fried had emerged as crypto’s friendly face in the US before his platform’s sudden November 2022 meltdown.

With his company worth $40 billion at its peak, the tech mogul flew around on private jets, showered politicians who he thought might be crypto friendly with millions in donations, and even rubbed shoulders with celebrities at the Super Bowl.

But weeks after his platform’s collapse, he was arrested in the Bahamas and charged with swiping FTX user funds to plug a $8 billion debt at his failing hedge fund Alameda Research.

In November last year, a jury found that the ex crypto golden boy had looted the accounts of what prosecutors called “tens of thousands” of people — including in war-torn and unstable nations — who lost the nest eggs they entrusted to him.

He was also found guilty of defrauding FTX’s lenders by sending them phony balance sheets, and of lying to the company’s investors. He earned roughly $3 billion in ill-gotten gains from those schemes, prosecutors said.

Bankman-Fried has been in jail since August after US District Judge Lewis Kaplan revoked his bail after finding that he tampered with witnesses, including by leaking his ex-girlfriend Caroline Ellison’s diary to a journalist.

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