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Prosecutors say FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried should get 40 to 50 years in prison

Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced founder and former CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX, should receive between 40 and 50 years in prison for his role in one of the biggest cases of financial fraud in U.S. history, federal prosecutors said Friday.

Bankman-Fried was convicted in November on seven counts of fraud and conspiracy, namely stealing more than $8 billion from customers of the now-bankrupt FTX to bankroll political contributions, bribe foreign officials and fund extravagant purchases.

The scheme came to light after FTX dramatically and abruptly collapsed in November 2022. Bankman-Fried was arrested soon after in the Bahamas and charged with wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, securities fraud and money laundering.

“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. And even now Bankman-Fried refuses to admit what he did was wrong,” federal prosecutors wrote in the sentencing recommendation.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan is slated to sentence Bankman-Fried in Manhattan federal court on March 28. He faces a maximum penalty of 110 years in prison.

Last month, Bankman-Fried’s lawyers requested a more lenient sentence of 63 months to 78 months, arguing the maximum sentence is “barbaric” and “grotesque.”

“Those who know Sam also know how deeply, deeply sorry he is for the pain he caused over the last two years,” his attorney’s wrote.

Bankman-Fried reportedly plans to appeal his conviction after the sentencing.

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