FTX founder appeals fraud sentence

Sam Bankman-Fried, the once-celebrated figure in the cryptocurrency world, has appealed against his federal fraud conviction and 25-year prison term resulting from the collapse of his exchange FTX.

The appeal, which was revealed in a legal document on Thursday, marks the start of a legal battle over Bankman-Fried’s conviction and the length of his sentence in a case that was really important in the financial world.

Previously lauded as a visionary, Bankman-Fried quickly ascended to prominence in the crypto industry, growing FTX from inception in 2019 to become the world’s second-largest exchange platform before his 30th birthday.

However, his short-lived success story ended in November 2022 following heightened customer withdrawals and revelations of billions illegally diverted from FTX to his hedge fund, Alameda Research.

In November 2023, a federal jury in New York found him guilty on seven counts of fraud, embezzlement and criminal conspiracy linked to FTX’s collapse. During his sentencing in March 2023, Bankman-Fried expressed regrets about his firm’s fold-up, claiming that it haunted him every day. “I made a series of bad decisions,” he said. 

Nonetheless, U.S. district judge Lewis Kaplan stated that the 31-year-old had not fully taken accountability for his wrongdoing. “Bankman-Fried mentioned mistakes were made, but failed to express remorse for the commission of a grave crime,” Kaplan remarked.”

The judge criticized the former billionaire’s ill-intentioned attempt to conceal the truth before mandating him to forfeit $11 billion and commence his 25-year detention.

Recall that last year, government lawyers presented a lot of evidence together with former FTX executives to a jury. The aim was to prove that FTX’s downfall wasn’t by chance. It happened because Bankman-Fried mismanaged things and intentionally deceived investors, lenders and customers. He used customers’ money to make himself richer and to expand his company.

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