Home Business News Frustration for a few of Bankman-Fried’s victims who hoped for stiffer sentence By Reuters

Frustration for a few of Bankman-Fried’s victims who hoped for stiffer sentence By Reuters

Frustration for a few of Bankman-Fried’s victims who hoped for stiffer sentence By Reuters


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Some former FTX prospects expressed anger and disappointment on Thursday after Sam Bankman-Fried, the crypto change’s former billionaire boss, was sentenced to 25 years in jail for stealing $8 billion from prospects.

“25 years is a joke,” a member of an FTX collectors group with the username Bruno Dixon wrote on messaging app Telegram minutes after the sentence was handed down by a New York choose.

One other member of the identical Telegram group, going by Steven, mentioned the sentence was “laughable for such a severe crime.”

Greater than an estimated 1 million prospects face potential losses because of FTX’s sudden November 2022 collapse. Victims say they’re nonetheless owed greater than $19 billion primarily based on present crypto costs.

A New York jury final 12 months discovered Bankman-Fried responsible of stealing from unsuspecting prospects to prop up his hedge fund Alameda Analysis, purchase luxurious properties and fund political donations.

Prosecutors sought a sentence of 40 to 50 years for what they are saying was one of many largest monetary frauds in U.S. historical past. Bankman-Fried’s protection has argued that round 5 years can be acceptable since prospects would possible be made complete.

Some victims on Thursday mentioned the sentence was as anticipated for a company fraud crime.

“White collar guys get handled otherwise so 25 might be pretty much as good because it was going to get,” wrote one of many Telegram group’s directors, including members ought to concentrate on recovering their belongings.

However different victims in contrast it unfavorably to the 150 years handed right down to infamous fraudster Bernie Madoff.

“I discovered 30-40 to be considerably truthful,” wrote Tristan, one other person of the identical Telegram group, which has greater than 3,000 members who say they’ve a mixed almost $700 million in claims.

Bankman-Fried’s attorneys mentioned the previous FTX boss had neglected threat administration however didn’t steal buyer cash. Bankman-Fried has vowed to attraction his conviction and sentence.

Some prospects mentioned they thought 25 years was not sufficient to justify plea offers prosecutors inked with different prime FTX executives, which allowed them to keep away from stringent punishments in return for performing as witnesses. Many speculated Bankman-Fried would serve considerably much less following his promised attraction.

Mark Bini, a former federal prosecutor, mentioned the choose’s sentence took into consideration the magnitude of the crime and the discovering that Bankman-Fried lied on the stand.

“Whereas lower than the prosecutors’ request for 40-50 years, it’s a very vital sentence and sends a message that folks convicted of crimes within the crypto area will face severe penalties,” mentioned Bini, now a accomplice at legislation agency Reed Smith.

Throughout the trial, prosecutors referred to as FTX prospects to testify and submitted dozens of sufferer influence statements to the courtroom forward of the sentencing. Many mentioned they’d misplaced years value of financial savings and that their lives had been destroyed.

“I misplaced my happiness, my potential to get off the bed, my want to proceed residing,” wrote one FTX buyer who mentioned they’d a $4 million declare. Names have been redacted.

Reuters reported final 12 months that FTX prospects have created help teams to assist every one other navigate the advanced chapter claims course of.

Directors now working FTX are nonetheless recovering belongings. They mentioned in January that they anticipate to have $13.7 billion to pay $31.4 billion in official claims, together with $9.2 billion from prospects.

© Reuters. Victim Sunil Kavuri speaks at the podium as FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried sits between his defense attorneys Marc Mukasey and Torrey Young during the sentencing hearing at Federal Court in New York City, U.S., March 28, 2024 in this courtroom sketch. REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg

Prospects will probably be paid “in full” however at November 2022 crypto costs, the directors mentioned, which means prospects is not going to profit from a rally in bitcoin and different tokens in current months. Many FTX prospects are preventing that call.

FTX was certainly one of a string of crypto firm bankruptcies in 2022 sparked by a collapse in crypto costs.

(Reporting and writing by Michelle Worth; further reporting by Dietrich Knauth, Mehnaz Yasmin, Elizabeth Howcroft, Luc Cohen and Jody Godoy; Enhancing by Rosalba O’Brien)



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