Sam Bankman-Fried should serve at least 40 years behind bars, prosecutors say

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Federal prosecutors want disgraced cryptocurrency wunderkind  Sam Bankman-Fried to serve up to 50 years behind bars, saying the massive scope of his crimes cry out for this lengthy prison sentence, court papers revealed Friday.

Bankman-Fried was convicted on all counts against him in a New York City federal courthouse on Nov. 2, as jurors held him responsible for fraud that wiped out the wealth of thousands of customers.

In theory he faces up to 110 years in prison, and federal prosecutors wrote that Bankman-Fried should do between 40 years and 50 years behind bars.

“The scope, duration, nature, and sheer number of Bankman-Fried’s crimes, the resulting harm they have caused, the willful disregard of the rule of law, and the absence of countervailing mitigating circumstances render him exceptionally deserving of a sentence that is sufficiently severe to provide justice,” according to a sentencing memorandum filed by federal prosecutors.

Bankman-Fried, a co-founder of the digital currency exchange FTX, was convicted of seven counts of wire fraud, securities fraud and money laundering that swindled customers of FTX and lenders to its affiliated hedge fund, Alameda Research.

He’s scheduled to be sentenced on March 28.

The federal prosecutors’ recommendation is well above the five to six years in prison Bankman-Fried’s attorneys requested in February. In a 98-page memo filed at the time, the lawyers portrayed him as suffering from an array of neurological and personality issues that could not be overcome.

An attorney for Bankman-Fried could not be immediately reached for comment on Friday.

In their sentencing memo, prosecutors took note of Bankman-Fried’s privileged upbringing as the son of two Stanford University professors.

The MIT grad had every possible legal avenue to become rich and successful — but instead gave in to greed and hubris, gambling away hard earn money of customers, the government said.

“Bankman-Fried could have pursued the rewarding, productive, and altruistic life he has sketched out in his sentencing submission,” prosecutors said. “But instead, his life in recent years has been one of unmatched greed and hubris; of ambition and rationalization; and courting risk and gambling repeatedly with other people’s money.”

Victims, they added, included “tens of thousands of everyday people” who lost “entire life savings,” “retirement funds and nest eggs.”

“For these reasons, the legitimate purposes of punishment require a sentence of 40 to 50 years’ imprisonment,” according to the government.

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