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Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of cryptocurrency platform FTX, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison

Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of cryptocurrency platform FTX, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison

A US court convicted Sam Bankman Freed, founder of FTX, for fraud and sentenced him to 25 years in prison. The ruling was issued on Thursday, March 28 It is a new chapter in the story of the downfall of one of the most promising figures in the emerging cryptocurrency industryHis wealth amounted to 26.5 billion dollars (about 18.9 billion euros at current exchange rates) According to Forbes. And She has appeared on the covers of magazines such as Fortune Months before everything disappears in the blink of an eye. The path to success was suddenly interrupted by a financial scandal, one of the largest in the United States of America, which harmed thousands of investors – Including Portuguese – There are still no possibilities to get your money back.

Then, in November, a jury in the case found Bankman-Fried guiltyThe final sentence arrives. The court found the former cryptocurrency mogul guilty of seven counts of fraud and criminal association. SBF, his initials, was charged with lying to US courts when he denied knowledge, in court, that Alameda Research, the co-founder's personal fund, used funds from FTX clients. , According to Reuters.

According to court accounts reported by the agency, SBF stole a total of $8 billion (€7.4 billion) from customers who bought and sold crypto assets on the FTX platform by “loaning” this money to Alameda. Investors in FTX itself saw $1.7 billion (€1.6 billion) disappear. And whoever loaned the money to Alameda – the fund that SBF used to hide the illicit use of client funds – lost $1.3 billion (€1.2 billion).

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The SBF will appeal the ruling. His lawyer, Mark Mukasey, argued in court that there was no malice in his client's actions: he “doesn't make decisions with malice in his heart, he makes decisions using the mathematics in his head.”

The judge in the case, Lewis Kaplan, disagreed, and made particularly harsh comments before ruling that SBF should spend a quarter of a century in prison. “He knew it was a mistake. He knew it was a crime. He regrets making a bad bet regarding the possibility of being caught. But he won't admit to anything, that's his right,” Kaplan was quoted as saying by Reuters.

“The defendant's assertion that FTX's customers and creditors will be fully compensated is misleading, logically flawed, and speculative. A thief who takes his loot to Las Vegas and successfully bets the stolen money is not entitled to a 'discount' on his sentence if He used the money he made in Las Vegas to pay back what he stole.”

FTX went bankrupt in November 2022 within a few days, in a turbulent week that highlighted the platform's solvency problems and the little-scrutinized links between the company and the Alameda fund.

The insolvency administrator later rated FTX's collapse as one of the most shocking cases of his career – He was involved in the liquidation of the energy company Enron, a symbolic example of large-scale fraud. “Never in my career have I seen such a complete failure of corporate controls and such a complete absence of reliable financial information as this,” John G. Ray III said at the time.

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SBF will be arrested in December 2022 in the BahamasWhere he lived and where FTX's headquarters were located, he was deported to the United States of America. The trial began in October 2023.

Now 32, the former young millionaire apologized in court: “Customers have suffered because of this (…) I didn’t want to diminish that at all. I also think this is something that has been absent from my speech throughout this process, and I apologize. To his former colleagues (three of whom testified against him, including FTX director and former girlfriend Carolyn Ellison), he expressed gratitude for their “efforts” and regretted “throwing it all away.” “This tortures me every day,” he admitted, quoted by Reuters.