News - 50 years for Sam Bankman-Fried? Defense appeals

By Ted Maas

50 years for Sam Bankman-Fried? Defense appeals

At 50 years, US prosecutors are demanding significantly less than the maximum sentence of 110 years for Sam Bankman-Fried. Still, the defense objects.

On March 15, US prosecutors asked District Judge Lewis Kaplan for a 40-50 year prison term for FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF). According to the court document "he lied to investors", he passed on forged documents and "he pumped millions of dollars in illegal donations into the political system". The jail sentence is intended to send a strong message to financial fraudsters.

SBF's legal team now objects: the prison sentence of up to 50 years "distorts reality" and portrays the former crypto entrepreneur as a "supervillain". This is not justice, according to a letter Bloomberg got its hands on.

The prosecutor's demand is well below the 110-year prison term recommended by U.S. sentencing guidelines. The defense is demanding less than seven years in prison. SBF was found guilty of fraud, money laundering and conspiracy last November. Judge Kaplan is predicted to rule on the final sentence on March 28.

Meanwhile, life in prison does not seem to be going particularly well for the crypto fraudster. In an interview, a fellow inmate described SBF as neglected and emaciated. "He looks like a toothpick and doesn't shower."

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