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Sam Bankman-Fried: ‘I never thought what I was doing was illegal’

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Sam Bankman-Fried: ‘I never thought what I was doing was illegal’

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In a recent email interview with ABC News from the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced founder and former CEO of the now-defunct crypto exchange FTX, expressed remorse for his actions that led to his 25-year prison sentence for fraud last week.

During the sentencing, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan remarked that Bankman-Fried had not offered “a word of remorse” for his “terrible crimes.” However, in the interview, Bankman-Fried stated:

It’s most of what I think about each day. I never thought that what I was doing was illegal. But I tried to hold myself to a high standard, and I certainly didn’t meet that standard.

Bankman-Fried acknowledged the despair, frustration, and sense of betrayal felt by thousands of FTX customers, asserting that they deserve to be paid in full at the current price. He attributed FTX’s insolvency to several “bad decisions” he made in 2022 and noted that customers “could and should” have been paid that year, finding it “excruciating to see them waiting, day after day.” The former FTX CEO expressed his deep regret:

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.

Sam Bankman-Fried’s battle is not over

Bankman-Fried’s defense team announced their intention to appeal the sentence on Thursday. In the interview, he claimed that certain trial testimony “greatly misstated what actually happened” and that his defense was “not allowed to introduce crucial evidence or put on important witnesses.”

Featured image: Flickr/ Marco Vetch/ CC 2.0

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