A lawyer for FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried asked the judge to reject the recommended sentence of 100 years

NEW YORK — Sam Bankman-Fried’s attorney said Tuesday that the court’s one-handed sentence of 100 years in prison for the FTX founder is “ironic” and “barbaric” and that a sentence of a few years at most is appropriate. For cryptocurrency crimes that California individuals are still in dispute with.

In arguments presented minutes before Tuesday’s deadline in Manhattan federal court, attorney Mark Mukasey said the probation officers’ report improperly calculated federal sentencing guidelines to recommend a sentence 10 years less than the maximum possible 110-year sentence.

A spokesman for prosecutors, who responded to court documents in mid-March, declined to comment. Mukase noted, however, that prosecutors agreed to the 100-year recommendation and said it was supported by trial evidence.

Judge Louis A. Kaplan on March 28 will sentence prosecutors who defrauded investors and clients of at least $10 billion he controlled from 2017 to 2022.

His FTX trading platform was seen by some in the cryptocurrency industry as a pioneer before it collapsed into bankruptcy in November 2022, just weeks before it was brought to the United States for testing from the Bahamas.

At a November trial, the man known for his casual clothes and wild hair was convicted of fraud and conspiracy by a jury that was not swayed by Bankman-Fried’s testimony.

Mukase wrote Tuesday that the probation office miscalculated federal sentencing guidelines to justify its recommendation. A proper sentence, Mukase said, would be based on guidelines that would be a maximum of five years and 6 1/2 years in prison.

When Bankman-Fried’s philanthropic deeds and her commitment to others are considered, an appropriate sentence would return her to an “immediately productive role in society,” the lawyer said. Mukase signed the 90-page document, which was joined by four other lawyers.

Mukase said the probation office “recommended that the court sentence Sam to 100 years in prison. That recommendation is outlandish.” He called on the judge to reject the “barbaric offer” for a “bright, complex and humane person” who does not use drugs, rarely drinks alcohol and is a first-time offender.

“Sam is not the ‘evil genius’ portrayed in the media or the greedy villain described at trial,” Mukase wrote. “Sam is a 31-year-old, first-time, non-violent offender who was joined by at least four other convicted felons in the conduct of the case, where the victims are willing to recover—always willing to recover.—one hundred cents on the dollar.”

FTX was once the world’s second largest crypto exchange and Bankman-Fried appears to be flying high with purchases of Super Bowl ads and endorsements from celebrities including comedian Larry David and NFL superstar quarterback Tom Brady.

After her arrest, however, Bankman-Fried’s communications were found by a judge to have been an attempt to influence the trial’s witnesses and she was sent to prison before trial.

For more than a year and a half, Bankman-Fried was allowed to live with her parents — both Stanford Law School professors — at home in Palo Alto, Calif., where she grew up.

Mukasey said the media’s portrayal of Bankman-Fried as a luxury-seeking billionaire was wrong, and included a quote from his client’s father, who said: “For anyone who knows Sam, the popular image of him as a high-rolling, celebrity-seeking, greed-driven CEO It’s just weird.

Mukase also quoted Bankman-Fried’s mother, who said her son is “filled with regret for not preventing the FTX explosion and subsequent damage. He tells me, it’s the first thing he thinks about when he wakes up and the last thing he thinks about when he goes to sleep.”

Mukase wrote that Bankman-Fried “doesn’t feel joy, or happiness, or pleasure, even when she’s very good,” and that she was diagnosed with anhedonic depression in college and has been taking antidepressant medication ever since.

Mukasey writes that Bankman-Fried, despite her sentence, will never be fully freed.

“He will be vilified by a lot of people wherever he goes for the rest of his life,” he said.

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