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Crypto kingpin Sam Bankman-Fried jailed for 25 years over historic $10bn FTX fraud as he admits ‘my useful life is over’

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CRYPTO tycoon Sam Bankman-Fried has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for one of the biggest financial frauds in history.

The FTX founder, 32, dubbed Crypto King was convicted in November of fraud and conspiracy that unravelled with the collapse of his cryptocurrency empire.

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was sentenced to 25 years in prison

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FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was sentenced to 25 years in prisonCredit: AP
Before sentencing Sam Bankman-Fried admitted his "life is over"

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Before sentencing Sam Bankman-Fried admitted his “life is over”Credit: Reuters

A jury in New York found him guilty of lying to investors, and lenders and of seven counts of fraud and money laundering.

And now District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan imposed a 25-year sentence on the former entrepreneur.

He said the 32-year-old lied when he claimed he was not aware of customer funds being used this way.

He described claims that victims will be paid back as “misleading and logically flawed” and added that the sentence reflected “a risk that this man will be in position to do something very bad in the future. And it’s not a trivial risk at all.”

He added that it was “for the purpose of disabling him to the extent that can appropriately be done for a significant period of time.”

Before sentencing, Bankman-Fried had admitted: “My useful life is probably over.

“It is been over for a while now, from before my arrest.”

The 32-year-old entrepreneur could have faced up to 110 years behind bars – but his lawyers argued such a sentence would have been “barbaric.”

His conviction follows a dramatic fall from grace from a crest of success that included a Super Bowl advertisement and celebrity endorsements from stars like quarterback Tom Brady, basketball star Stephen Curry and comedian Larry David.

The entrepreneur, widely known by his initials SBF, is the founder of FTX.

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The business gradually became the world’s second-largest digital coin exchange and was promoted by celebrities including supermodel Gisele and tennis star Naomi Osaka.

But FTX was eventually described as a Ponzi scheme – a pyramid investment vehicle in which cash from new investors is used to pay out to existing investors.

According to CoinDesk “the whole operation was run by a gang of kids in the Bahamas” who are, or used to be, paired up in romantic relationships.

They all lived in a £32million penthouse in the Caribbean tax haven and were part of a “polyamorous” group. 

Without their knowledge, Bankman-Fried’s team used the money of FTX customers to cover risky operations by an affiliated trading company called Alameda Research, as well as to buy posh real estate and to make political donations.

After his fortune vanished overnight, Bankman-Fried was extradited from the Bahamas, where FTX had its headquarters.

In December 2022 he was indicted on charges of fraud and racketeering.

After five weeks of trial, the jury quickly reached a guilty verdict on all seven counts, which carry a potential maximum sentence of 110 years behind bars.

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