News - Sam Bankman-Fried gambled away his life

By Ted Maas

Sam Bankman-Fried gambled away his life

Scams, crime and fraud
Sam Bankman-Fried heeft zijn leven vergokt

Sam Bankman-Fried is facing a life sentence. The FTX founder owes this in no small part to his arrogance and hubris. One comment.

Sam Bankman-Fried has been sentenced to 25 years in prison, a dramatic conclusion to one of the biggest fraud cases in crypto history. The FTX founder, who maintained his innocence to the end, saw his arrogant gamble fail in the face of overwhelming evidence. His trial, which drew attention for its spectacle value and shocking revelations, highlighted his failure not only as a "crypto prodigy" but also as someone whose hubris became his downfall.

But it was also an exposure. The exposure of a "crypto prodigy," a "trading genius" who ended up making all too human mistakes - driven by arrogance and hubris. All in all, they ensured that the chances of a lenient punishment grew ever smaller.

This began shortly after the demise of FTX, when SBF thought it would be a good idea to make public statements about the collapse of his crypto empire. He knew full well that the long arm of U.S. law might eventually strangle him with these statements. "I blew it. I was the CEO, so it was my responsibility," Sam Bankman-Fried said in an interview with the New York Times a little less than a month after the collapse. In court, the memory lapses suddenly became apparent. The former multimillionaire called out several variations of "I can't remember" or "I don't remember" more than 140 times during his interrogation. The FTX founder also refused to acknowledge his responsibility. Instead, he shifted the blame to his accomplices

The fact that SBF gave the testimony at all was one of many nails in the coffin. Almost no lawyer would have advised him to take this risky step. Why he did it anyway, only he will be able to answer. Perhaps it is because of SBF's character. He is known for not shying away from big risks. This trait earned him a job at Jane Street, one of the largest trading houses on Wall Street. But the courtroom is not a trading desk. The laws of the crowded financial market don't apply there, only evidence, credibility and ultimately the sympathy of the jury - SBF could hardly really show anything.

During the trial, he often came across as arrogant and uneducable. One situation in particular stands out when he answered a question from the prosecution on the witness stand, even though an objection from his defense attorney had been honored earlier. "I felt I had to answer the question," SBF said almost defiantly.

In general, it must be said that SBF lawyers often appeared pale. In the courtroom, they could hardly deliver effective blows, especially in the cross-examination of the key witnesses surrounding Caroline Ellison, Nishad Singh and Gary Wang. The deal that the former executives of FTX and Alameda had struck with U.S. authorities should have been one of the main pillars of the strategy. Instead, however, it was rarely mentioned during the hearings.

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