Former crypto boss Sam Bankman-Fried bags 25 years in prison for defrauding investors

American entrepreneur and crypto king, Sam Bankman-Fried has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for his role in defrauding users of the collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX.

Judge Lewis Kaplan of the Southern District of New York, US set the sentence on Thursday in a hearing in New York Federal Court.

Kaplan said Bankman-Fried had obstructed justice and tampered with witnesses in mounting his defense — something Kaplan said he weighed in his sentencing decision.

After a two-hour hearing the judge, Lewis Kaplan, said Bankman-Fried knew what he was doing was criminal and regretted making a bad bet about the likelihood of being caught.

Bankman-Fried, wearing a beige jailhouse jumpsuit, struck an apologetic tone, saying he had made a series of “selfish” decisions while leading FTX and “threw it all away.”

“It haunts me every day,” he said in a statement. “There are a lot of mistakes that I made.” 

Bankman-Fried, however, told the court that FTX had the ability to repay customers when it collapsed.

Meanwhile, the prosecutors said Bankman-Fried took more than $10bn (£7.9bn) from unsuspecting customers in “one of the biggest financial frauds” in US history.

FTX was valued at $32bn before it went bankrupt in 2022 and SBF crafted a public image that drew in celebrities, politicians and business titans.

Prosecutors had sought as much as 50 years, while Bankman-Fried’s legal team argued for no more than six and half years. 

He was convicted on seven criminal counts in November and has been held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn since.

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