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Sam Bankman-Fried’s lawyers say proposed 50-year sentence portrays him as ‘supervillain’

Sam Bankman-Fried
Sam Bankman-Fried

Sam Bankman-Fried is no “supervillain,” his lawyers argued this week — while ripping federal prosecutors’ request to put the crypto crook away for 40 to 50 years as being “marked with hostility.”

Lawyers for Bankman-Fried — who was convicted in November of stealing $8 billion from customers of his now-defunct FTX cryptocurrency exchange — said the feds’ court papers from Friday unfairly painted their client like a “supervillain” with “megalomaniacal motives.”

Prosecutors have a “medieval view of punishment” in asking for the decades-long sentence that “amounts to a death-in-prison” penalty, Bankman-Fried’s lawyer Marc Mukasey wrote in a letter filed in Manhattan federal court Tuesday.

Bankman-Fried, 32, is set to be sentenced on March 28, when his side will argue he should only be imprisoned for 5¼ to 6½ years.

Sam Bankman-Fried’s lawyers blasted the feds’ bid to throw him behind bars for 40 to 50 years. Getty Images
Sam Bankman-Fried’s lawyers blasted the feds’ bid to throw him behind bars for 40 to 50 years. Getty Images

Mukasey accused the feds of wanting “to break” his client and said he hadn’t found another instance of a non-violent convict serving such a lengthy term and getting set free after.

“Perhaps because inmates suffer a two-year decline in life expectancy for each year of imprisonment,” Mukasey wrote. “Crushing Sam in this way is unnecessary.”

A jury in November found Bankman-Fried guilty of seven counts of fraud and conspiracy after hearing testimony that he told his associates to loot FTX customer funds to shore up losses at his hedge fund Alameda Research.

He also used the stolen funds to buy luxury real estate in the Bahamas and to donate to politicians he thought would back regulations favorable to cryptocurrency, prosecutors argued at trial.

To date, 251 political candidates and committees have given back $3.3 million in donations from Bankman-Fried and others at FTX, the feds said.

Bankman-Fried’s lawyers said their client is no “supervillain” as prosecutors seek to paint him by asking for the draconian penalty. Obtained by Tiffany Fong
Bankman-Fried’s lawyers said their client is no “supervillain” as prosecutors seek to paint him by asking for the draconian penalty. Obtained by Tiffany Fong

Prosecutors will also be seeking $11 billion in forfeiture from Bankman-Fried as part of his sentence to repay lender and investor losses.

Bankman-Fried’s side has said it plans to appeal the conviction and sentence.

He’s been in jail since August after Judge Lewis Kaplan revoked his bail on the grounds that he likely engaged in witness tampering.

A spokesperson with the Manhattan US Attorney’s Office declined to comment.