US DOJ Demands Maximum Penalty: 40-50 Years Prison Sentence For SBF’s Fraud, Conspiracy Charges

March 16, 2024

U.S. prosecutors have issued a resolute call for justice, pressing for an unprecedented 40-50-year incarceration for Sam Bankman-Fried, the brain behind FTX’s meteoric rise and dramatic collapse.

Bankman-Fried, a figure constantly in the spotlight since his advent into the cryptocurrency realm, now finds himself entangled in a riveting legal drama. Once hailed as the “golden boy” of crypto, known colloquially as SBF within the industry, he now faces the daunting prospect of a century-long imprisonment, convicted on seven counts of fraud and conspiracy. 

These charges are intrinsically linked to the tumultuous demise of his once-revered cryptocurrency empire, which once reigned supreme in the global exchange arena. As the countdown to his sentencing on March 28 ticks away, Bankman-Fried’s legal team petitioned for a significantly shorter term last month, specifically, five to six-and-a-half years, citing his purported “charitable works” and his demonstration of “commitment to others.”

However, the prosecution vehemently opposed this plea, denouncing it as “woefully inadequate,” instead advocating for the imposing 40-50-year term. In a scathing memorandum addressed to Judge Lewis Kaplan, the Department of Justice’s Southern District of New York detailed a litany of crimes perpetrated by Bankman-Fried. 

Prosecutors asserted that SBF’s actions have inflicted irreparable harm upon thousands of individuals and entities worldwide, warranting a punishment commensurate with the severity of his offenses.

“The defendant victimized tens of thousands of people and companies, across several continents, over a period of multiple years. 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,” the government sentencing memorandum filed this Friday, read.

“Bankman-Fried is deserving of a severe sanction, proportionate to his role in this historic fraud,” the prosecutors said while noting that the Guidelines sentence exceeding 100 years is not necessary.

“The Government urges the Court to impose a sentence that underscores the remarkably serious nature of the harm to thousands of victims; prevents the defendant from ever again committing fraud; and sends a powerful signal to others who might be tempted to engage in financial misconduct that the consequences will be severe. A sentence of 40 to 50 years is necessary to serve such purposes,” the prosecutors further said.

Emphasizing the need for deterrence and restitution, the prosecutors also urged the court to levy a substantial $11 billion money judgment against SBF, coupled with the forfeiture of his stake in specified properties. The prosecutors said the proposed “money judgment represents the appropriate measure for forfeiture, under the facts and the law” while describing the amount as “a particularly conservative sum.”

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