FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison for Cryptocurrency Fraud

"My useful life is probably over," Sam Bankman-Fried, who was found guilty in November for defrauding his customers and investors, said at his sentencing on Thursday

MARIO DUNCANSON/AFP via Getty TX founder Sam Bankman-Fried (L)
MARIO DUNCANSON/AFP via Getty TX founder Sam Bankman-Fried (L)

Disgraced FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried will spend 25 years in prison after being convicted of financial fraud, a Manhattan judge has ruled on Thursday.

Bankman-Fried, 32, was found guilty on seven fraud charges in November for defrauding his customers with his failed digital currency exchange company, FTX, PEOPLE reported previously. 

He was found guilty of wire fraud, securities fraud and money laundering, prosecutors said, for defrauding customers in his FTX crypto exchange firm and defrauding investors for his investment firm Alameda Research.

In addition to the prison sentence, Bankman-Fried was also ordered to pay $11.2 billion, CNN reports.

Bankman-Fried used billions of dollars from his FTX customers to fund his personal investments and paying off debts incurred on Alameda Research, authorities said previously.

Following the guilty verdict, his attorney Mark Cohen doubled down on Bankman-Fried’s claim that he is innocent and said “he will continue to vigorously fight the charges against him,” CNN reported at the time. 

At his sentencing on Thursday, Bankman-Fried addressed the court and apologized "about what happened at every stage," according to CNN, which live-streamed Thursday's hearing.

"A lot of people feel really let down, and they were very let down, and I am sorry about that." he added. "I am sorry about what happened at every stage. And there are things I should've done and things I shouldn't have."

Related: Everything to Know About FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried's Legal Controversies (Including the Celebs Involved)

In a meandering statement to the court, Bankman-Fried admitted that he made "a series of bad decisions" as the CEO of FTX, per CNN. He also commended his former business partners, including co-founder Gary Wang and his ex-girlfriend Caroline Ellison, both of whom testified against him in trial in compliance with their plea agreements.

Together, they all "built something beautiful," Bankman-Fried said. "And I threw it all away. It haunts me every day."

He also told the court he'd been pained to see FTX's customers suffer. "It's been excruciating to watch," he said.

He also seemingly acknowledged the road ahead: "My useful life is probably over. It's been over for a while now."

Related: Tom Brady, Gisele Bündchen Among Celebrities Sued in Lawsuit Against Crypto Company FTX

What Was FTX?

FTX, which Bankman-Fried founded in 2019, was a cryptocurrency exchange company. Bankman-Fried's enormous wealth, which Forbes estimated to be worth $26.5 billion at its peak, “was tied up in ownership of about half of FTX and a share of its FTT tokens," per the business magazine.

By November 2022, his business collapsed and he was subject to investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department.

Prosecutors filed criminal charges against Bankman-Fried, who was arrested in December 2022 in the Bahamas, Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced at the time.

Related: Sam Bankman-Fried’s Ex-Girlfriend Testifies that FTX Founder 'Directed' Her to Commit Crimes

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Bankman-Fried's series of crimes was “one of the biggest financial frauds in American history," Williams, who heads the federal prosecutors' office in Manhattan that charged Bankman-Fried, said at the time. 

Bankman-Fried's net worth was valued at $0 as of the day of his sentencing, according to Forbes.

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