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SBF’s Legal Team Calls 50-Year Sentence Proposal ‘Medieval’, Advocates for Leniency in High-Profile Crypto Case

In a striking rebuttal to a proposed sentence of up to 50 years for former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), his legal representatives argue that such a penalty reflects an outdated, “medieval” approach to justice, misaligning with the actual severity of his offenses.

Attorneys Marc Mukasey and Torrey Young expressed their objections in a letter to Judge Lewis Kaplan, dated March 19, responding to the sentencing proposal made by the government on March 15.

Describing the prosecution’s narrative as overly harsh, Mukasey and Young accused it of painting Bankman-Fried as a “depraved super-villain” based on a skewed “loss” narrative.

This came after the United States prosecutors, on March 15, advocated for a sentence between 40 and 50 years for Bankman-Fried, who had been convicted of fraud and money laundering in November 2023.

This sentence, according to his lawyers, equates to a life sentence, a punishment they deem excessively harsh and unjust.

Arguing for leniency, Bankman-Fried’s lawyers proposed a significantly shorter prison term of five to six years. They disputed the claims of actual financial losses, pointing to the ongoing bankruptcy proceedings expected to fully compensate affected customers and lenders.

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Contrary to the depiction of Bankman-Fried as driven by greed, his legal team highlighted his philanthropic efforts and modest living, challenging the portrayal of him as a risk for future offenses due to low recidivism rates among similar offenders.

Moreover, they criticized the prosecution for allegedly unsupported allegations and misleading comparisons with sentencing in similar fraud cases, stressing that non-violent offenders rarely, if ever, face sentences as severe as 40–50 years.

Highlighting the personal and professional losses Bankman-Fried has already suffered, they suggested a more appropriate sentence range would be five to six and a half years.

This, they argued, would be more in line with justice, especially if the government believes in a chance for Bankman-Fried’s eventual reintegration into society.

The jury had found Bankman-Fried guilty on all seven counts nearly a year after FTX’s downfall, sparking a debate over the appropriate consequence for one of the most high-profile figures in the cryptocurrency industry.

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Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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