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Sam Bankman-Freed jailed

Sam Bankman-Fried, the owner of bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX, who was convicted last year of fraud and conspiracy, will face sentencing today (March 28) in New York . District Judge Lewis Kaplan could impose a maximum sentence of 110 years in prison.

Prosecutors asked for a sentence of 40-50 years in prison, while the defense sought leniency because Bankman-Fried was a nonviolent first-time offender. They are lobbying the judge to impose a prison sentence of closer to six and a half years.

Victims of the FTX debacle have been writing to the judge to express their thoughts on the issue and try to convey how a fraud of this scale has affected them.

“He hasn’t shown any remorse, so why would the judge be merciful?” British investor Sunil Kavuri, who was at FTX when the exchange collapsed, told the BBC Holds assets worth more than $2 million.

Entrepreneur Arush Sehgal and his wife from Barcelona have about $4 million in U.S. dollars and Bitcoin, their life savings, in FTX. He described them as having “lost everything.”

Canadian Angela Chang held about $250,000 in FTX, and its decline led her to pay off her credit card debt and eventually sell some of her claims to investors. She believes the victims of Bankman-Fried’s crimes are minimized because of their involvement in the crypto industry. “People think cryptocurrency is a crime, so they sympathize with the person… but I’m not a criminal,” she told the BBC.

How will Sam Bankman-Fried’s sentence be determined?

Making such a sentencing decision is a complex matter. Daniel Richman, a law professor at Columbia University, said there is huge debate about the scale of the crime and its impact. “Any judge or lawyer will tell you that one of the best things a defendant can do before being sentenced is to really show that he is on the right path, show some remorse and show some degree of self-awareness about his crime. ,” Professor Richman continued, “Here you have not only a defendant on trial, but you have a defendant who did obstruct justice before trial, at least in the judge’s opinion.” Last year, Judge Kaplan received a complaint about witness tampering. Bankman-Fried’s bail was revoked after rumors of threats and intimidation.

Part of the reason for asking for leniency is that through a bankruptcy filing, most people who hold FTX can recover their funds. However, this does not take into account the losses that Bitcoin suffered from not being able to participate in the market when it hit new all-time highs and then started falling again.

Others have pleaded for clemency, including Bankman-Fried’s mother, Barbara Fried. She is a former law professor and describes the American justice system as “punitive.” “I have no illusions about the redemptive power of prison,” she wrote to Judge Kaplan. “Decades behind bars would destroy Sam, just like hanging him would.”

Despite pleas from Bankman-Fried’s family and friends and the fact that Bankman-Fried is a non-violent first-time offender, Professor Richman believes that if the judge can come close to the 6.5 years the defense is asking for, that would be ” Very surprising.”

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