Crypto News

In a recent interview with ABC News, Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), the co-founder and former CEO of the now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX, spoke about his remorse and plans for an appeal following his recent 25-year prison sentence for fraud.

FTX Co-Founder Admits Errors

Bankman-Fried, currently held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, shared his reflections on the unfolding events. He admitted to making several “bad decisions” in 2022 that led to FTX’s insolvency.

Although he claimed he had never considered his actions illegal, Bankman-Fried acknowledged falling short of the “high ethical standard” he set for himself.

During the sentencing, US District Judge Lewis Kaplan accused Bankman-Fried of perjury and evasiveness during his testimony, criticizing his lack of remorse for the crimes committed. In response, Bankman-Fried affirmed his remorse and expressed empathy for the thousands of customers who suffered financial losses. SBF claimed the following:

I’m haunted, every day, by what was lost. I never intended to hurt anyone or take anyone’s money. But I was the CEO of FTX, I was responsible for what happened to the company, and when you’re responsible it doesn’t matter why it goes bad. I’d give anything to be able to help repair even part of the damage. I’m doing what I can from prison, but it’s deeply frustrating not to be able to do more

Bankman-Fried also acknowledged the impact on his co-workers, who reportedly dedicated their lives to FTX, and the charities he supported, whose funding was affected by the company’s collapse. 

The disgraced crypto mogul expressed deep regret for “throwing away” what they had worked hard for and expressed a desire to repair at least part of the damage caused. Despite his efforts from prison, Bankman-Fried admitted to feeling frustrated by the limitations on what he could do to rectify the situation.

In his statement to the court, Bankman-Fried contended that if he or another FTX employee had remained CEO, customers would have been paid back by now. He attributed the delay in compensation to the company’s decision not to restart the FTX exchange, which he believed could have created long-term value.

Sam Bankman-Fried Claims ‘Unfair’ Trial, Plans Appeal

During the interview, Bankman-Fried also raised concerns about the fairness of his trial, specifically calling out Sullivan & Cromwell, the law firm representing FTX’s new owners. 

SBF accused them of colluding with the prosecution and preventing him from accessing key FTX documents shared with the prosecution. Bankman-Fried claimed this had a “detrimental effect” on the entire trial, including media coverage and the defense’s ability to present evidence in his favor.

Responding to Bankman-Fried’s claims, a spokesperson for Sullivan & Cromwell referred to Judge Kaplan’s sentencing remarks, highlighting Bankman-Fried’s perjury on the witness stand and his strategy of blaming lawyers and the bankruptcy process instead of accepting responsibility for his crimes.

Looking ahead, Bankman-Fried revealed that his defense team plans to appeal the conviction later this year, primarily based on certain trial testimony that he felt greatly misrepresented the actual events. He also mentioned the importance of introducing “crucial evidence” and presenting key witnesses, which his defense was allegedly not allowed to do during the trial.

As Bankman-Fried begins his prison term, he acknowledges the gravity of the situation, having lost everything. While expressing a desire to make a positive difference in the world, he recognizes the limitations of his current circumstances and remains committed to seeking justice through appeals.

Featured image from BBC News, chart from TradingView.com