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Sam Bankman-Fried lawyers ask for 63 to 78 month jail sentence for FTX fraud trial

Lawyers for Sam Bankman-Fried told a US judge on Tuesday that a sentence ranging from 63 to 78 months would be an appropriate punishment for the FTX founder’s conviction for stealing $8 billion from customers of the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange.

The lawyers for the jailed former billionaire, who turns 32 next week, made the request to US District Judge Lewis Kaplan, who is set to sentence Bankman-Fried in Manhattan federal court on March 28.

Bankman-Fried faces up to 110 years in prison after a jury found him guilty in November on seven counts of fraud and conspiracy.

The US Attorney’s office in Manhattan is expected to make its own sentencing recommendation by March 15.

told a US judge on Tuesday that a sentence ranging from 63 to 78 months would be an appropriate punishment for the FTX founder’s conviction. AP

Bankman-Fried is expected to appeal his conviction and sentence.

Damian Williams, the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, has called Bankman-Fried’s case one of the biggest financial frauds in American history.

His office charged Bankman-Fried in December 2022, a month after FTX met its demise following a wave of withdrawals by panicked customers.

At a month-long trial, three former close associates of Bankman-Fried testified that he directed them to help loot FTX customer funds to plug losses at his Alameda Research hedge fund, even while presenting 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, where FTX was based, and to donate to US politicians who might support cryptocurrency-friendly regulations.

Bankman-Fried testified for three days, acknowledging failures including not building a risk-management team, but denying that he stole anything and saying he did not realize how much Alameda owed to FTX until shortly before both failed.

Bankman-Fried rode a boom in the values of digital assets such as bitcoin to a net worth Forbes magazine once estimated at $26 billion.

In September, Kaplan said Bankman-Fried could face a “very long sentence” if convicted, as he denied his request to be released from Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center during the trial. The judge jailed him last August after finding that Bankman-Fried likely tampered with witnesses.

Bankman-Fried faces up to 110 years in prison after a jury found him guilty in November on seven counts of fraud and conspiracy. REUTERS
Attorney Marc Mukasey, arrives for a hearing at the Manhattan Federal Courthouse in New York City on Feb. 21, 2024. REUTERS

The three one-time confidantes who testified against him – former Alameda chief executive Caroline Ellison, former FTX technology chief Gary Wang and former engineering chief Nishad Singh – all pleaded guilty as part of deals with prosecutors. They have not yet been sentenced.

Last week, Bankman-Fried appeared in court for the first time since his conviction, confirming that he wanted to stick with new lawyers he hired to represent him through his sentencing, despite a possible conflict of interest.

Written by SaleemBaloch

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