Feds recommend Sam Bankman-Fried serve up to 50 years in prison due to ‘the extraordinary dimensions of his crimes’

Federal prosecutors are asking that Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced cofounder of bankrupt crypto exchange FTX, be sentenced to 40 to 50 years in prison, according to a sentencing memo on Friday.

“Justice requires that he receive a prison sentence commensurate with the extraordinary dimensions of his crimes,” the prosecutors wrote in the 116-page document. The recommendation was made in a filing to Judge Lewis A. Kaplan in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

Bankman-Fried was found guilty of seven fraud charges in November and is scheduled to be sentenced on March 28. The maximum possible penalty is 110 years.

In another filing last month, Bankman-Fried’s attorneys argued that he should receive a sentence of no more than 6 1/2 years due to his autism spectrum disorder. Bankman-Fried, his lawyers said, “presents at times as a paradox,” pointing to his “neurodiversity” that affects how he’s perceived. The memo was accompanied by letters of support from Bankman-Fried’s parents and psychiatrist, among others.

Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, who’ve taught at Stanford Law School, said material wealth did not interest their son, who worked tirelessly to repay customers in the month following FTX’s November 2022 collapse, prior to his arrest. Bankman-Fried is “deeply, deeply sorry” for “the pain he caused over the last two years,” the memo said. “His sole focus after the collapse of FTX was making customers whole.”

The rise and fall of Bankman-Fried’s crypto empire has captured international attention. FTX once graced Super Bowl commercials and carried a valuation north of $30 billion, and the disgraced mogul oversaw a Bahamas-based exchange that attracted top venture capitalists and celebrities before the walls tumbled amid a broader crypto collapse in 2022.

Bankman-Fried is awaiting sentencing in Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center. Kaplan revoked his bail in August and sent him to MDC after he leaked private writings from Caroline Ellison—his one-time girlfriend and former CEO of FTX’s trading firm, Alameda Research—to the New York Times.

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