• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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FTX founder sentenced to 25 years imprisonment for fraud

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FTX founder, Sam Bankman-Fried has been sentenced to 25 years imprisonment for the theft of $8 billion from customers of the cryptocurrency exchange.

FTX, which was worth over $30 billion with 1.2 million registered users, had quickly become the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency exchange – a place where investors could buy and sell digital assets just like Bitcoin.

Read also: Crypto-obsessed Nigerians reel as FTX collapses

The 32-year-old crypto expert faced up to 110 years, however, prosecutors argued for a sentence of 40 years to 50 years, while Bankman-Fried’s lawyers asked for six and a half years.

“The defendant victimised tens of thousands of people and companies, across continents, over a period of multiple years,” prosecutors told Judge Lewis in a court filling.

Read also: Bitget sets up $5m fund to help users affected by FTX crash

“He stole money from customers who entrusted it to him; he lied to investors; he sent fabricated documents to lenders; he pumped millions of dollars in illegal donations into our political system; and he bribed foreign officials. Each of these crimes is worthy of a lengthy sentence,” they added.

Bankman-Fried’s woes began in November 2022 when his crypto empire crashed after it emerged that customer funds worth $10 billion (£7.9 billion) had been spent on paying off loans and buying lavish real estate, among other personal expenses.

He was charged with two counts of wire fraud conspiracy, two counts of wire fraud, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, each of which carried a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

He was also convicted of conspiracy to commit commodities fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud, each of which carried a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

Over a year later, he has now been convicted of fraud and money laundering based off evidence from his colleagues.

He must also forfeit $11 billion that the government can use to compensate victims, according to judge Lewis Kaplan.