‘Never a word of remorse’: Judge’s scathing rebuke of crypto fraudster Sam Bankman-Fried as he sentences him to 25 years in prison


US District Judge Lewis Kaplan condemned Sam Bankman-Fried as a ‘thief’ who had never issued a ‘word of remorse’ before he sentenced him to 25 years in prison. 

Kaplan, who is also the judge on the Donald Trump – E. Jean Carroll defamation case, slammed the disgraced FTX founder in a furious tirade in court on Thursday.

He criticized the ‘enormous harm that he did, the brazenness of his actions, his exceptional flexibility with the truth,’ and ‘his apparent lack of any remorse’.

Kaplan sentenced him to 25 years in prison – recommending a medium or low security jail – and ordered him to forfeit $11billion. 

He said: ‘There is a risk this man will be in a position to do something very bad in the future and it’s not a trivial risk.’

US District Judge Lewis Kaplan condemned Sam Bankman-Fried as a 'thief' and sentenced him to 25 years in jail

US District Judge Lewis Kaplan condemned Sam Bankman-Fried as a ‘thief’ and sentenced him to 25 years in jail

He explained how Bankman-Fried misappropriated billions of dollars

He explained how Bankman-Fried misappropriated billions of dollars

Throughout the hearing Kaplan walked back through all of the crimes committed by Bankman-Fried.  

He explained how he had misappropriated billions of dollars and illegally used money from FTX depositors to buy luxury properties in the Caribbean, bribe to Chinese officials and charter private planes.

Kaplan said he should not get leniency just because some investors and customers might get some of their losses back. 

He called the argument ‘logically flawed’ and ‘speculative’, saying customers lost about $8 billion, investors lost $1.7 billion and lenders were shorted by $1.3 billion.

Kaplan said: ‘At the end of the day he knew it was wrong. He knew it was criminal. He regrets that he made a very bad bet about the likelihood of getting caught but he’s not going to admit a thing.

‘I think one of his pithier expressions was “I f****d up” but never a word of remorse for the commission of terrible crimes.’

He said: ‘There is absolutely no doubt that Mr. Bankman-Fried’s name right now is pretty much mud around the world.’

The long sentence is ‘for the purpose of disabling him to the extent that can appropriately be done for a significant period of time,’ Kaplan said. 

He said he also would advise the Federal Bureau of Prisons to send him to a medium-security prison near San Francisco. 

He said his notoriety, association with vast wealth, and his autism and social awkwardness would make him vulnerable at a high-security facility. 

Judge Lewis Kaplan was quick to bash Bankman-Fried during the hearing and noted the fraudster committed perjury multiple times during a trial that saw him convicted on all counts by a jury

Judge Lewis Kaplan was quick to bash Bankman-Fried during the hearing and noted the fraudster committed perjury multiple times during a trial that saw him convicted on all counts by a jury

Bankman-Fried sits in court during a February hearing. He learned on Tuesday he will head to prison for 25 years

Bankman-Fried sits in court during a February hearing. He learned on Tuesday he will head to prison for 25 years

Judge Kaplan noted the Bankman-Fried perjured himself three times during trial. He also noted how the felon committed witness tampering, which landed him the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn (pictured)

Judge Kaplan noted the Bankman-Fried perjured himself three times during trial. He also noted how the felon committed witness tampering, which landed him the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn (pictured)

During his sentencing Judge Kaplan cited the testimony of former Alameda Research boss Caroline Ellison, who said in her testimony that Bankman-Fried once said that he was so comfortable with risk he would have flipped a coin if tails meant the world was destroyed but heads meant it was twice as good.

Judge Kaplan said: ‘In other words a man willing to flip a coin as to the continued existence of life and civilization on earth if the chances were imperceptibly greater it wouldn’t come out without that catastrophic outcome’.

The judge went on: ‘Mr Bankman-Fried knew for a protracted period that Alameda was spending large sums of FTX customer funds on risky investments, political contributions, Bahamas real estate and other things in circumstance in which FTX was seriously exposed to downside of market deterioration, loan calls and other risks.

‘He knew that FTX customer funds were not to be used for those purposes.

‘They were not his to use and that his use of them was not only wrong, it was flatly inconsistent with the image of safety and security he vigorously and endlessly portrayed to the world.

‘He was betting on expected value. In the head of this mathematical wizard, his counsel tells us. that he was viewing the cost of getting caught discounted by probability against the gain of getting away without getting caught.

‘That was the game. It started (early in his career) and it continued to the very end. It’s his nature’.

He later added: ‘When he wasn’t outright lying he was often evasive, hair splitting, dodging questions and trying to get the prosecutors to reword questions in ways he could answer them in ways he thought less harmful than a truthful answer would have been.

‘I’ve been doing this job for close to 30 years. I’ve never seen a performance quite like that.’



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