Disgraced cryptocurrency entrepreneur Sam Bankman-Fried has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for leading a multibillion-dollar fraud scheme. Prosecutors had recommended a sentence of 40-50 years in March, but Judge Lewis Kaplan ultimately decided on a shorter term, taking into consideration the harm caused, the brazenness of Bankman-Fried’s actions, and his lack of remorse. The 32-year-old was convicted in November of overseeing wire fraud, securities fraud, and money laundering at his financial empire, FTX, where he defrauded customers and investors out of as much as $10 billion.

Bankman-Fried’s downfall marked a stunning reversal of fortune for a man once celebrated in the crypto world. At trial, he claimed he never intended to cheat people out of their investments and only became aware of his company’s massive debt in 2022. However, his top associates testified that he directed them to deceive the public and funnel billions from FTX to Alameda, his sister company. Caroline Ellis, Alameda’s CEO and Bankman-Fried’s former girlfriend, testified that he instructed her to provide misleading financial information to lenders, leading to the unraveling of FTX in 2022. Ellison pleaded guilty to fraud charges in exchange for cooperating with prosecutors.

Bankman-Fried’s lawyers informed the court that his investments with stolen money have significantly appreciated in value, and they expect all of FTX’s customers and creditors to be fully repaid. It remains to be seen how those defrauded by Bankman-Fried will be compensated. As Americans prepare for the 2024 presidential election, the importance of a free press in providing well-informed coverage is emphasized. HuffPost continues to offer freely accessible journalism, and reader contributions help support the production of high-quality news. By contributing as little as $2, readers can aid in keeping news accessible to all.

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