“I know a lot of people feel really disappointed. Everyone built something really beautiful, threw themselves into it, and then I threw it all away. It haunts me every day,” SBF told Judge Kaplan.

It has been almost two years since the cryptocurrency exchange FTX filed for bankruptcy protection, filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US. Finally, on March 28, 2024, the world learned of the sentence that the former

CEO Sam Bankman-Fried. During the trial, Judge Lewis Kaplan received 1,500 documents, of which the defense presented 450.

SBF showed remorse for causing suffering to FTX victims, including financial stress and emotional pain. Furthermore, SBF stated that FTX clients could have had their money refunded, as there were sufficient assets.

Judge Kaplan on the Case

As the presiding judge discussed the fact that SBF collapsed the former second-largest cryptocurrency exchange valued at around $35 billion at the time, tensions remained high on both sides, defense and prosecutors. According to Judge Kaplan, SBF and its attorneys have previously lied under oath even after losing $8 billion of client funds.

“The defendant’s claim that FTX customers and creditors will be paid in full is misleading, logically erroneous and speculative. A thief who takes his loot to Las Vegas and successfully gambles away the stolen money is not entitled to a discount on his sentence by using his Las Vegas winnings to pay back what he stole,” Kaplan said.

What Lies Ahead for SBF

Had the judge followed the law as provided, SBF would have had to face a legal maximum of 110 years in prison. Prosecutors had been pushing for SBF to receive between 40 and 50 years in prison. SBF’s defense lawyers urged the judge to consider the good deeds and hand down less than 6.5 years in prison. However, the judge handed down a 25-year prison sentence for the 32-year-old former crypto leader.

What’s Happening to the Three Musketeers, Gary Wang, Nishad Singh and Caroline Ellison?

These three SBF’s contributors, once riding high on the crypto wave at FTX and Alameda Research, have crashed hard. They have said everything without reservation to the feds, even though this is not their golden ticket to freedom.

Ellison, 29, left the continents and settled at home after the feds raided her house, seized her electronic devices and revealed her secrets. Wang, 31, ran out of the Bahamas and toward Manhattan prosecutors, while Singh, the youngest, 28, hit rock bottom, dealing with the fallout in the Bahamas before he too decided to open up.

Since these three people told everything they knew about Bankman-Fried, everything has been relatively quiet. Singh is back in California, and even got a job in software. Wang has also returned to technology and is keeping a low profile. Meanwhile, Ellison’s whereabouts after the trial are unknown.

The government has their back and prepares a good deal for the judge to consider. It remains to be seen to what extent their cooperation weighs in their favor. Judge Kaplan has the fate of all three in his hands. Whether or not he will show mercy is unknown.

The past of these three people with FTX and Alameda Research is a saga of ambition, betrayal and a spectacular fall from grace. As they await their own sentencing, it becomes clear that none of them belong to the world of cryptocurrencies.

By Leonardo Perez


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