‘I never thought what I was doing was illegal’


Former FTX CEO Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried has reportedly responded to questioning from news outlets following being sentenced to 25 years in federal prison.

According to an April 1 report from ABC News, Bankman-Fried responded via email to questions from the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, where he has been held since August 2023. On March 28, Judge Lewis Kaplan of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York sentenced the former FTX CEO to 25 years after his conviction on seven felony counts.

“I never thought that what I was doing was illegal,” said SBF, according to ABC. “I’m haunted, every day, by what was lost. I never intended to hurt anyone or take anyone’s money.”

Many of Bankman-Fried’s answers to questions seemed to avoid responsibility for the collapse of the crypto exchange in November 2022, claiming he made “bad decisions” but did not act selflessly or selfishly. His statement mirrored that of one he made before sentencing, mainly justifying his actions before FTX declared bankruptcy and claiming the exchange “would have survived” and customers would get repaid.

The statement to ABC may be one of the last SBF made before going to federal prison. Judge Kaplan recommended the former CEO serve the remainder of his time at a medium- or low-security prison in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Related: Sam Bankman-Fried gets 25 years — What happens now?

A March 28 docket entry suggested that Bankman-Fried would serve roughly 24.25 years, in consideration of the months already spent behind bars after being remanded by Judge Kaplan. Legal experts have suggested that the former CEO could earn years off his sentence for good behavior, but there is no parole in the federal prison system.

Bankman-Fried’s lawyers said on March 28 they intended to appeal the verdict. No appeal had been filed at the time of publication.

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