SBF sentencing live updates: FTX founder says he made ‘selfish decisions’ at failed crypto exchange

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Sam Bankman-Fried faces up to 50 years in prison at sentencing hearing

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried told a judge at his criminal sentencing hearing that he made a “series of selfish decisions” at the failed cryptocurrency exchange.

“They built something really beautiful and I threw all of that away,” Bankman-Fried said of his co-workers at FTX. “It haunts me every day.”

SBF faces a maximum possible sentence of 110 years in prison under federal sentencing guidelines for the massive fraud conspiracy that led to the collapse of FTX and a related hedge fund, a judge ruled Thursday.

Judge Lewis Kaplan increased the sentencing guidelines range for Bankman-Fried after finding that he had perjured himself at his trial and knowingly obstructed justice.

Kaplan, who will sentence SBF later Thursday in Manhattan federal court, is not bound to give him that much time. But the ruling underscores the risk that Bankman-Fried will spend decades in jail.

The judge also found Thursday that the total loss of the fraud at FTX exceeded $550 million. Anything more than that is “just gravy,” Kaplan noted, referring to the fact that any more loss would not increase the top end of the guidelines.

However, Kaplan said he “rejects the entirety of defendant’s argument there was no loss” at FTX, calling that claim “misleading, logically flawed and speculative.”

After Kaplan ruled on the guideline enhancement, several victims of Bankman-Fried began talking about the effects of his crimes.

Bankman-Fried, who was wearing a beige jailhouse jumpsuit, looked at the victims as they talked to the judge.

Federal prosecutors want Bankman-Fried sentenced to between 40 to 50 years in prison. His defense team asked Kaplan to sentence him to much less than that, between five and six-a-half years behind bars.

Kaplan presided over the trial, which ended in November when a jury found Bankman-Fried, 32, guilty of seven counts and held him responsible for the roughly $10 billion of customer deposits that went missing in 2022.

The charges included wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud against FTX customers and against lenders to sister hedge fund Alameda Research; conspiracy to commit securities fraud and conspiracy to commit commodities fraud against FTX investors; and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Bankman-Fried’s parents, Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, are in the courtroom for the sentencing hearing.

FTX’s former CEO and founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s mother, Barbara Fried (L), and his father, Joseph Bankman, arrive at Manhattan Federal Court for his sentencing at Manhattan Federal Court in New York City on March 28, 2024. 

Timothy A. Clary | Afp | Getty Images

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