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FTX founder appeals 25-year sentence for $8 billion fraud

Sam Bankman-Fried, the former billionaire founder of collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX, has appealed his conviction and 25-year prison sentence for stealing $8 billion in customer funds. This appeal, filed on April 11th, 2024, marks the …

Sam Bankman-Fried, the former billionaire founder of collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX, has appealed his conviction and 25-year prison sentence for stealing $8 billion in customer funds.

This appeal, filed on April 11th, 2024, marks the next step in Bankman-Fried’s downfall from a celebrated entrepreneur to a convicted felon. The 32-year-old was found guilty in November 2023 on seven counts of fraud and conspiracy, in a case prosecutors have labelled one of the biggest financial frauds in US history.

The appeal process could take years. Bankman-Fried’s lawyers must convince the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and potentially the Supreme Court, that Judge Lewis Kaplan made significant errors during the trial, compromising Bankman-Fried’s legal rights and creating an unfair trial.

The sentence, while shorter than the 40-50 years requested by prosecutors, was far steeper than the 5-year term Bankman-Fried’s defence sought. It serves as a stark reminder of Bankman-Fried’s dramatic transformation – from a rising star in the crypto world, praised for his wealth and charitable efforts, to a convicted criminal facing decades behind bars.

FTX founder’s billion-dollar betrayal lands him 25-year prison stint
Sam Bankman-Fried, once crypto’s golden boy, sentenced for $8bn fraud against FTX customers.

Bankman-Fried’s meteoric rise was fueled by the surge in Bitcoin and other digital assets. By 30, he had amassed a net worth of $26 billion according to Forbes. He was also a prominent political donor and advocated for “effective altruism,” encouraging young people to focus on wealth creation for philanthropic causes.

However, his fortunes crumbled when FTX, headquartered in the Bahamas, declared bankruptcy in November 2022. This came after a wave of customer withdrawals triggered by panic over allegations Bankman-Fried had improperly mixed customer funds with Alameda Research, a crypto hedge fund he also controlled. He was subsequently arrested in the Bahamas and extradited to the US in December 2022.


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