SBF claims “zero loss” to FTX customers, 100-year sentence is “grotesque”

abdelaziz Fathi

Sam Bankman-Fried, the former FTX CEO who was found guilty of fraud charges last year, is facing his sentencing next month. But before that day arrives, he’s making a plea for what he considers a fair shake.

Sam Bankman-Fried

According to a recent court filing, Bankman-Fried and his legal team are shooting for a sentence ranging from 63 to 78 months. This move comes as a stark contrast to the century-long sentence the Presentence Investigation Report (PSR) suggested, which Bankman-Fried’s attorneys have outright labeled as “grotesque.”

The backdrop to this legal drama is the 2022 downfall of FTX, which Bankman-Fried led until its spectacular crash. After a month-long trial last November, he was convicted on seven counts of fraud and conspiracy. But his lawyers are now highlighting his status as a 31-year-old, first-time, non-violent offender. They also claim that he wasn’t acting alone in the conduct that led to his charges and argue that the victims are on track to get fully reimbursed.

Bankman-Fried’s defense is leaning heavily on the argument that the actual harm to FTX’s customers, lenders, and investors is zero, given the bankruptcy estate’s expectation to repay customers fully. This perspective is part of their pitch for a “just sentence,” suggesting that considering the situation as “zero loss” could lead to a shorter sentencing range than the PSR’s grim forecast.

The memo filed by Bankman-Fried’s legal team also paints a picture of FTX and FTX.US’s financial health at the time of bankruptcy filing, challenging the narrative of insolvency with claims that the estate has over $10 billion in assets. This, they argue, should factor heavily into the sentencing decision, along with Bankman-Fried’s philanthropic efforts and his potential to contribute positively to society in the future.

Bankman-Fried’s character has been a point of contention, with detractors labeling him everything from a sociopath to one of history’s most notorious fraudsters. Yet, the filing seeks to counter this image with testimonials from those close to him, portraying him as a deeply caring individual with a genuine commitment to doing good.

Support for Bankman-Fried comes from various quarters, including his family, former colleagues, and even a fellow inmate, highlighting his vulnerability to extortion and harassment due to his high-profile case and perceived wealth. Additional letters point to Bankman-Fried’s commitment to global justice and suggest that his behavior may be influenced by Autism Spectrum Disorder, advocating for continued access to therapy.

In pushing back against the proposed sentence, Bankman-Fried’s attorneys are disputing several points raised in the PSR, including allegations of witness tampering and the use of auto-deleting messages, which they argue are either inapplicable or unsupported.

Read this next

Digital Assets

Masa Announces Comprehensive AI Developer Ecosystem with 13 Dynamic Partners Focused on Leveraging Decentralized Data and Large Language Models

In a groundbreaking development, Masa, the global leader in decentralized AI and Large Language Models (LLMs), proudly announces the launch of its AI Developer Ecosystem, partnering with 13 visionary projects.

Financewire

Kinesis Mint becomes the official partner for the House of Mandela

Kinesis Mint, the certified independent precious metals mint and refinery of Kinesis, the monetary system backed by 1:1 allocated gold and silver, has been appointed the exclusive coin producer for the House of Mandela.

Chainwire

Kadena Announces Annelise Osborne as Chief Business Officer

Kadena, the only scalable Layer-1 Proof-of-Work blockchain, expands its leadership team by onboarding Annelise Osborne as Kadena’s new Chief Business Officer (CBO).

Fintech

TNS brings full-stack market data management to EMEA

“We are also delighted to have Ben Myers join our London-based TNS Financial Markets team as Head of Strategic Sales for EMEA, to bolster our presence in the region.”

Chainwire

Velocity Labs and Ramp Network facilitate fiat to crypto onramp on Polkadot via Asset Hub support

Velocity Labs is proud to announce a fiat to crypto onramp using Ramp Network through the integration of Asset Hub. Through it, Ramp will be able to service any parachain in the Polkadot ecosystem.

Executive Moves

INFINOX hires Mayne Ayliffe as Global Head of HR

“I look forward to working with our teams around the world to develop a strategic HR agenda that supports high performance and is centred on human motivation.”

Fintech

Sterling to provide risk and margin support for fixed income

“Firms must have the tools to effectively manage their risk across all asset classes. As yields rise, we see more exposure from clients in the fixed income space. We understand their need to measure and mitigate risk in a highly regulated environment.”

Retail FX

FXOpen launches HK share CFDs: Tencent, Alibaba, Xiaomi, Baidu

Hong Kong share CFDs will be commission-free for a limited period of time.

Retail FX

IronFX Celebrates an Award-Winning Start to 2024 with a Series of Industry Recognitions

IronFX, a global leader in online trading, has embarked on 2024 with a spectacular display of accolades that highlight its commitment to excellence and innovation in the competitive financial services sector.

<