courtroom sketch of Sam Bankman Fried March 28
courtroom sketch of Sam Bankman Fried today

Sam Bankman-Fried has been sentenced to 25 years in prison by Judge Lewis Kaplan of the Southern District of New York:

"It is the judgment of the court that you are sentenced to 240 months then consecutive 60 for a total of 300 months," he said.

Before sentencing, Bankman-Fried said he was sorry for the losses he caused.

"I can't impact if I get 5 years or 40 years. I know how the prosecutors see me, the court, the media. I understand it. You referenced my test to the general counsel. I was trying to help - that's not how the prosecutors saw it,"

Early in sentencing, the judge rejected the argument that customers could be paid back.

"The defendant's assertion that FTX customers and creditors will be paid in full is misleading, it is logically flawed, it is speculative," Kaplan said. "A thief who takes his loot to Las Vegas and successfully bets the stolen money is not entitled to a discount on the sentence by using his Las Vegas winnings to pay back what he stole."

Despite that, Bankman Fried continued to highlight it in his comments to the judge.

"Yeah, customers have been given conflicting claims. That's caused a lot of damage. They could have been paid back...There are enough assets. It's not because of a rise in the price of crypto, that hasn't hurt, there just was enough."

Bankman Fried also apologized.

"A lot of people feel really let down, and they were very let down, and I am sorry about that. I am sorry about what happened at every stage," he said.

The sentencing guideline was for 110 years but the judge before sentencing said he would go under that. The defense said Bankman Fried is still a young man (he's 32) and has something to offer. They asked for six-and-a-half years.

He will be 57 when released if he's not successful on appeal or has the sentence reduced due to good behavious (which is highly likely, according to experts).

"My useful life is probably over," Bankman-Fried said today. "I've long since given what I had to give. I can't do it from prison. I threw it all away. It haunts me every day.”

Prosecutors jumped on something SBF said. He insisted the companies were bankrupt, just more leveraged and illiquid than they should have been and called it "a painful few weeks."

Prosecutors said that he continues to blame mismanagement and that the comment about a "painful few weeks" illustrated no acceptance of responsibility.

Bankman-Fried has been in prison for the past 7 months. He was incarcerated ahead of the trial after breaking bail conditions and then locked up as he awaited sentencing.

Bankman-Fried argued at sentencing that he was motivated by altruism but the judge highlighted how he made political donations and famously said "f**k regulators" to a journalist. Kaplan said he was motivated by power and influence.

"Bankman-Fried knew that Alameda was spending customer funds on risky investments, political contributions and Bahamas real estate. The funds were not his to use," he said.

The judge said he will suggest incarceration close to his parents in San Francisco.

New York prosecutors released this statement:

Samuel Bankman-Fried orchestrated one of the largest financial frauds in history, stealing over $8 billion of his customers' money. His deliberate and ongoing lies demonstrated a brazen disregard for customers' expectations and disrespect for the rule of law, all so that he could secretly use his customers' money to expand his own power and influence. The scale of his crimes is measured not just by the amount of money that was stolen, but by the extraordinary harm caused to victims, who in some cases had their life savings wiped out overnight. As a result of his unprecedented fraud, Bankman-Fried faces 25 years in prison, forfeiture of over a billion dollars, and restitution to his victims. Today's sentence will prevent the defendant from ever again committing fraud and is an important message to others who might be tempted to engage in financial crimes that justice will be swift, and the consequences will be severe.

All told, this was probably the best that Bankman-Fried could have hoped for.

SBF in prison
A leaked pic of SBF in prison awaiting sentence
Sam Bankman Fried pirates meme