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Sam Bankman-Fried To Be Sentenced In Crypto Fraud Case

Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of defunct cryptocurrency brokerage FTX, faces sentencing today (March 28) after being found guilty on all counts in his fraud trial.

Prosecutors are requesting that Bankman-Fried receive a sentence of 40 to 50 years in prison for his financial crimes, while the defense team is asking for five to six years behind bars.

Judge Lewis Kaplan, who presided over the trial last November, will pronounce sentencing on Bankman-Fried in a New York City court later today.

Bankman-Fried was found guilty of seven charges related to the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX and the $10 billion U.S. of customer deposits that went missing as a result.

However, Bankman-Fried’s legal team is requesting leniency, arguing that FTX customers will be getting most, if not all, of their money back as the trustee overseeing the bankruptcy has recovered most of the missing funds.

Lawyers representing the bankrupt estate of FTX told the judge in February of this year that they expect to fully repay FTX customers and creditors who have legitimate claims.

The full repayment of FTX customers has changed the narrative surrounding FTX’s failure and called into question whether Bankman-Fried was trying to purposely defraud crypto investors or was just a bad businessman.

Much of the government’s successful case against Bankman-Fried hinged on convincing the jury and judge that the defendant had “stolen” billions of dollars worth of FTX customer money.

The bankruptcy trustee, John Ray III and his team of restructuring advisors, have already reclaimed more than $7 billion U.S. in missing funds and expect to recover billions more in coming months.

As a result, Bankman-Fried’s defense team has asked the court for a maximum sentence of 78 months (6.5 years). The defense is also stressing that Bankman-Fried is a first time, nonviolent offender.

On the other side, prosecutors are claiming that Bankman-Fried is still guilty of the fraud crimes that he was charged with and hurt his victims even if there’s no monetary loss.

The sentencing hearing is expected to draw hundreds of media from all over the world.