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HomeGeneral“I’m Haunted!” Former Crypto Boss Sam Bankman-Fried Says Amid Conviction

“I’m Haunted!” Former Crypto Boss Sam Bankman-Fried Says Amid Conviction

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Sam Bankman-Fried with a handcuff in the backdrop.
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Former crypto entrepreneur Sam Bankman-Fried expressed remorse in an exclusive interview with ABC News. Bankman-Fried stated that he thinks about his actions and their consequences daily. Last week, Bankman-Fried was sentenced to a 25-year prison term for fraud.

The 17-month saga surrounding Sam Bankman-Fried began in November 2022. FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange co-founded and led by Bankman-Fried, collapsed during this period. The implosion of FTX resulted in an $8 billion loss for its customers.

Bankman-Fried resigned amid the company’s downfall. Following the collapse, FTX’s new ownership filed for bankruptcy. Prosecutors alleged that Bankman-Fried stole from FTX customers.

The stolen funds were purportedly used for political contributions, investments, and personal gain. Bankman-Fried was convicted of seven counts of fraud, conspiracy, and money laundering last fall.

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ALSO READ: Former FTX CEO Bags 25 Years for Financial Fraud; To Pay $11 Billion to Scheme Victims

Sam Bankman-Fried emailed exclusively with ABC News over the weekend. He corresponded from the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. Bankman-Fried attributed FTX’s insolvency to several “bad decisions” he made in 2022.

“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,” he said.

During his sentencing on Thursday, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan made critical remarks about Sam Bankman-Fried’s conduct. Judge Kaplan accused Bankman-Fried of committing perjury during his testimony.

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The judge described Bankman-Fried as “often evasive” in his responses. Judge Kaplan noted that Bankman-Fried showed no remorse for his actions during the trial.

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Bankman-Fried said Sunday that “of course” he is remorseful.

“I’ve heard and seen the despair, frustration, and sense of betrayal from thousands of customers; they deserve to be paid in full at the current price,” he said, adding, “That could and should have happened in November 2022, and it could and should happen today. It’s excruciating to see them waiting, day after day.”

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He added that he “felt the pain” from co-workers as he “threw away what they poured their lives into” and from the charities he supported “as their funding turned into nothing but reputational damage.”

“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,” he said.

ALSO READ: “Corruption Has Become Normalized!” RFK Jr. Fumes as U.S. Drops Charges Against Crypto Poster Boy

During his statement to the court on Thursday, Sam Bankman-Fried, 32, asserted that if he or another FTX employee had stayed on as CEO, customers would have been reimbursed much earlier.

Bankman-Fried attributed the delay in repaying customers to the company’s decision not to relaunch the FTX exchange. He argued that restarting the FTX exchange could have created long-term value for the company.

“There are and always have been plenty of assets to repay customers, lenders, and investors in full, at current prices or prices at the time,” he said.

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