SBF Lawyers Ask For Just 5 To 6 Years In Sentencing Memo, Citing "Autism Spectrum Disorder"

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Feb 29, 2024 - 05:00 PM

We're certain that no one is lamenting the rise in Bitcoin more than Sam Bankman-Fried, who probably could have gotten away with his FTX fraud - at least for longer than he did - with the price of the key crypto on the rise as it's been. 

Perhaps that's what the motivating factor was for his legal team, who is now trying to get SBF a sentence of just 5 to 6 years versus the 100 years he faces, for his fraud charges, Wall Street Journal reported this week. 

SBF's lawyers filed with the court a hundred-page sentencing memo late Tuesday, arguing that the FTX head should only get 63 to 78 months his jail due to his "autism spectrum disorder". 

“The social dynamics in prison and the scrutiny he is receiving is likely to result in him facing physical violence," the memo said. It argued that his autism spectrum disorder could endanger his safety in prison and they suggested that difficulties in interpreting social cues could lead to misunderstandings with inmates and guards.

Bankman-Fried's defense portrayed him as a philanthropist who lived simply, contrasting with the prosecution's narrative of a luxurious lifestyle in the Bahamas. Evidence presented by prosecutors however, included a photo with Katy Perry and mentions of high-profile dinners, aiming to depict extravagance.

SBF's lawyers argued his actions were driven by philanthropy, not greed.

The memo continues: “Those who know Sam are sensitive to the tragic fact that nothing in life brings him real happiness. Sam suffers from anhedonia, a severe condition characterized by a near-complete absence of enjoyment, motivation, and interest. He has been that way since childhood.”

“The harm to customers, lenders, and investors is zero,” they continued. 

But Sunil Kavuri, an FTX creditor based in the U.K., told the Wall Street Journal: “Every customer who held any crypto is not whole. It’s like someone stealing your house, selling it for a profit and paying you back based on what it was worth five years ago.”

A former NYC Police officer that SBF is incarcerated with also wrote a letter to the judge on his behalf, writing: “Even though twelve out of every fourteen of Sam’s weekly meals are just undercooked rice, a scoop of disgusting-looking beans and week-old brown lettuce, Sam has stayed true to his commitment to not participate in the maltreatment of animals.”