Sam Bankman-Fried Appeals FTX Fraud Convictions, Prison Sentence

Sam Bankman-Fried Appeals FTX Fraud Convictions, Prison Sentence

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FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has appealed his fraud conviction and 25-year prison sentence for stealing billions from customers of the now-defunct exchange.

Bankman-Fried was convicted in November on seven counts of fraud and conspiracy in what is described as one of the biggest financial frauds in US history.

Bankman-Fried Appeals

Bankman-Fried filed a notice of appeal in federal court and formally began the process of having his conviction and punishment overturned. The move comes just two weeks after Judge Lewis Kaplan sentenced the former FTX CEO to 25 years in prison, stating that Bankman-Fried was not truly remorseful for the “very serious crime” that he had committed. However, it is still unclear on what grounds Bankman-Fried intends to appeal. During his trial, the defense was prevented from calling expert witnesses and presenting evidence about what Bankman-Fried was told by FTX attorneys before the exchange collapsed.

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Bankman-Fried has also requested to be allowed to stay at Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Centre while his trial plays out, in a change of tune after significant protests about the tough living conditions in the prison.

The Charges Against Bankman-Fried

Bankman-Fried has consistently maintained his innocence, claiming he did not knowingly commit fraud or steal billions from customers, investors, and lenders. Federal prosecutors have argued that he used the stolen funds to trade at FTX’s sister company, Alameda Research, purchase property in the Bahamas, make political donations, and get celebrity endorsements. Customers soon began asking for a return on their investments in cash and crypto, which revealed a significant shortfall of funds. Prosecutors called Bankman-Fried’s actions “old-fashioned embezzlement” carried out under the facade of a new technology.

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During his sentencing, Bankman-Fried was apologetic about what had happened at every stage. However, Judge Kaplan stated that he had shown no real remorse. Ultimately, the jury remained unconvinced, with many of his inner circle testifying against him.

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Can FTX Customers Get Their Money Back?

Meanwhile, FTX is in the midst of its bankruptcy proceedings under the stewardship of FTX caretaker CEO John J. Ray. Bankman-Fried has long insisted that FTX had assets on hand to return customer deposits. This prompted FTX’s caretaker CEO to say that the former CEO was living a life of delusion. However, he did state that customers could get their money back, but it was a very long shot.

Bankman-Fried is one of many individuals facing the full force of the law. Last week, a court in New York found Terraform Labs and its former CEO, Do Kwon, liable for fraud and misleading investors. Do Kwon is currently detained in Montenegro, having been taken into custody early last year. Changpeng Zhao, the former CEO of Binance, is also set to be sentenced by the end of the month. Zhao is accused of failing to implement anti-money laundering measures at Binance and had agreed to pay a $50 million fine and step down as Binance CEO.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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