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Former FTX boss and founder Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) has been arrested in the Bahamas and is now facing trial. Allegedly, he faces decades behind bars for his actions. What is the notorious FTX founder accused of and how much will Sam Bankman-Fried spend in prison?

What happened to Sam Bankman Fried?

FTX and Alameda Research founder Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested two days ago in his adopted home, the Bahamas. The US authorities struck surprisingly quickly and hard. After his removal, SBF already saw a first presentation to the magistrate in the capital Nassau. A provisional release on bail was then immediately refused.

Since then, SBF stays at Fox Hill Detention Center, which various sources say has harsh prison conditions. SBF would remain in the prison’s medical wing while US authorities worked with Bahamas authorities on the indictment. 

What is Sam Bankman-Fried accused of?

Sam Bankman-Fried is the face of one of the biggest scams in crypto market history. For a long time, its crypto exchange, FTX, had a good standing as a trading platform for cryptocurrencies. Even well-known athletes such as Tom Brady or Stephen Curry advertised the company. SBF had possession of fraudulent funds from the company and thus drove the company into insolvency.

The funds flowed from FTX to his other company, Alameda Research, through which he used the capital to buy real estate, issue loans and also take risky trades. He also funded vast sums of money in the US election campaign for the Democratic Party, allegedly in exchange for friendly regulations. 

How Much will SBF spend in Prison?

The US public prosecutor’s office from the Southern District of New York drafted a total of 8 charges, which are as follows in US law: 

  1. conspiracy to commit money laundering
  2. Conspiracy to commit telecom fraud against customers
  3. Telecom fraud against customers
  4. Conspiracy to commit securities fraud
  5. Conspiracy to commit telecom fraud against borrowers
  6. Telecom fraud against borrowers
  7. Conspiracy to commit commodity fraud 
  8. Conspiracy to defraud the United States and violate campaign finance laws

This is a range of serious allegations that, at worst, could result in a combined 115-year prison sentence for Sam Bankman-Fried. That would be equivalent to life imprisonment in Germany.

It is difficult to say at the moment whether these charges will drop, whether mitigating factors come into play, or whether SBF can even get away with a deal with a significantly lower sentence. We will follow further developments with interest. 

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