Sam Bankman-Fried: ‘I never intended to hurt anyone’

Sam Bankman Fried (SBF), the most infamous name in the industry right now, has made his last statements before heading to Federal prison.

“I never thought that what I was doing was illegal,” SBF said in an interview with ABC News.

The April 1 interview follows the sentencing of SBF by Judge Lewis Kaplan of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The March 28 sentencing saw SBF heading to federal prison for 25 years. 

The former CEO responded to emails from the media outlet from the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.

“I’m haunted, every day, by what was lost. I never intended to hurt anyone or take anyone’s money,” a remorseful SBF said.

Bankman-Fried didn’t shy away from acknowledging that, under his leadership, things took a turn for the worse. He also shared a bit of his current state of mind, revealing a deep-seated desire to fix some of the damages he had dealt. 

“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.

On the day of his sentencing, Judge Lewis Kaplan had called out SBF for dodging the truth and lacking any real show of regret for his role in one of the crypto world’s biggest failures.

“Not a word of remorse,” Kaplan was noted saying in a statement.

But Bankman-Fried begs to differ. “Of course, I’m remorseful,” he countered just days later, touching on the deep-seated anguish and betrayal felt by countless FTX users.

“They deserve to be paid in full, at current prices,” said SBF, adding that this is what should have happened in November 2022, the month when FTX filed for bankruptcy

“It’s excruciating to see them waiting, day after day.”

He also alleged that the FTX holds sufficient assets to repay its customers “at current prices or prices at the time.” He blamed the exchange’s decision not to restart the company following his departure. 

He didn’t stop there. Bankman-Fried shared the emotional toll of witnessing the fallout among his colleagues and the philanthropical projects he once championed, now tarnished by the scandal. 

The plot thickened as SBF took aim at Sullivan & Cromwell, the legal firm representing FTX’s new management. He accused them of bias and alleged their close relationship with prosecutors skewed the fairness of his trial. 

“The process was tainted,” he declared, pinpointing the firm’s influence and the media storm it allegedly whipped up as central to his resentment.

Looking ahead, Bankman-Fried revealed plans for an appeal. His strategy includes targeting inaccuracies in the trial testimony, claiming it “greatly misstated” what actually transpired. SBF also criticized constraints placed on his defense, including prohibitions against presenting key evidence and calling vital witnesses.

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