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Prosecutors want Sam Bankman-Fried to serve 40 to 50 years in prison for FTX fraud

New York CNN  —  Federal prosecutors are calling for onetime crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried to be sentenced to 40-50 years in prison for stealing billions of dollars from customers and defrauding investors in his now-bankrupt crypto exchange, FTX. Bankman-Fried, who turned 32 this month, was convicted in November of stealing more than $8 billion and engaging his employees in a yearslong coverup, in what prosecutors have called one of the largest financial frauds in history. His sentencing is scheduled for March 28. “The enormous scale of the fraud at FTX is measured not just by the amount of money that was stolen,” prosecutors said in a filing in Manhattan federal court on Friday. “The fraud at FTX may also be measured in the number and types of victims, in the fraud’s geographic reach, and in the breadth and frequency of the unlawful and unethical acts.” Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX, arrives at court as lawyers push to persuade the judge overseeing his fraud case not to jail him ahead of trial, at a courthouse in New York, U.S., August 11, 2023. Eduardo Munoz/Reuters Related article Sam Bankman-Fried’s lawyers push for 6-year sentence in multibillion-dollar FTX fraud Lawyers for Bankman-Fried have urged Judge Lewis Kaplan to consider a far shorter prison sentence of no more than six-and-a-half years. In a court filing last month, they argued that Bankman-Fried is a nonviolent offender who was abetted by at least four other people, who pleaded guilty to the crimes. Under federal sentencing guidelines, Bankman-Fried could face a maximum sentence of 110 years. He currently resides in a Brooklyn jail while awaiting sentencing. Prosecutors wrote that while “Bankman-Fried is deserving of a severe sanction,” an effective life sentence exceeding 100 years “is not necessary.” A 40- to 50-year term “underscores the remarkably serious nature of the harm to thousands of victims; prevents the defendant from ever again committing fraud; and sends a powerful signal to others who might be tempted to engage in financial misconduct that the consequences will be severe,” they said Friday. Bankman-Fried’s lawyer, Marc Mukasey, told CNN on Friday the defense would have a response “early next week.”