Crypto king Sam Bankman-Fried is facing jail – but how did he get away with it for so long?

Just a year ago, he was on top of the world. But Sam Bankman-Fried now faces a maximum 110-year jail term for orchestrating one of the biggest financial frauds in American history, writes Chris Blackhurst. This is what we must learn from his demise

Saturday 04 November 2023 12:38 GMT
Bankman-Fried leaves a Manhattan federal court in February
Bankman-Fried leaves a Manhattan federal court in February (AP)

After the verdicts were announced in the trial of Sam Bankman-Fried, US attorney Damian Williams said he carried out a fraud “designed to make him the king of crypto”. While “the cryptocurrency industry might be new... this kind of corruption is as old as time”.

Just one year ago, the tousle-haired, cargo-short-wearing Bankman-Fried truly was on top of the world. His company, FTX, was worth billions of dollars; he was well on his way towards being among the richest people on the planet.

The Super Bowl, White House, Capitol Hill, Hollywood, Silicon Valley – they all fawned over him. He was scruffy, strange in manner, socially awkward – traits that only pointed to his genius.

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