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FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried is facing a potential prison sentence of up to 110 years after being convicted of defrauding his customers, investors, and lenders. Prosecutors are seeking a sentence of 40 to 50 years, while Bankman-Fried’s lawyers have requested a sentence of six and a half years. The decision will be made by Manhattan federal Judge Lewis Kaplan, who presided over the trial and has previously admonished Bankman-Fried for not directly answering questions.

Numerous victims of the FTX collapse have submitted letters urging Judge Kaplan to impose a harsh sentence on Bankman-Fried. The defendant has argued for a more lenient sentence, stating that he is not motivated by material wealth and luxury, but rather suffers from a severe condition that causes a lack of enjoyment, motivation, and interest. Bankman-Fried has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, which his lawyers claim affects his risk assessment and emotional valuation.

Bankman-Fried’s fall from grace marks the collapse of his once-billion-dollar empire and the end of his role as the face of the boom in digital assets during the early years of the pandemic. FTX filed for bankruptcy in late 2022, leading to Bankman-Fried’s arrest by authorities in the Bahamas. His trial revealed that he and three top executives carried out a scheme to steal up to $14 billion in customer deposits from FTX, which were used for investments, repayments, donations, and real estate.

During the trial, Bankman-Fried denied committing fraud and instead attributed the downfall of FTX to poor business decisions and management errors. The other three executives involved in the scheme pleaded guilty to fraud charges and testified against Bankman-Fried under plea agreements. Bankman-Fried’s lawyers have argued that the magnitude of the loss and potential prison sentence enhancements based on victims’ losses will be key factors in determining his sentence.

Judge Kaplan will consider the billions in funds that Bankman-Fried put at risk against the fact that affected parties may be fully repaid through a plan for FTX to repay customers and creditors in full. Despite the severity of the charges, prosecutors have decided not to pursue additional legal action against Bankman-Fried for separate allegations of bank fraud and bribery. The outcome of Bankman-Fried’s sentencing will be revealed on Thursday, after which he will have the opportunity to make a final statement in court.

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