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Total Shock And Disbelief As SBF Found Guilty On All Charges
The prosecution cast Sam as an evil, manipulative figure, rather than an unlucky genius.
Yesterday, the jury found Sam Bankman-Fried guilty on seven criminal counts of fraud. Sam, or "SBF", as he is affectionately known within the crypto space, was accused of lying to the customers of FTX—once the world's second largest and most legitimate digital asset exchange—and stealing billions of dollars for his own use. He will be sentenced in March next year.
"Outpouring Of Grief"
The jury's decision was met with an outpouring of grief and anger from the crypto community, within which Sam was almost universally loved and admired for his work in furthering the digital asset space and for his widespread philanthropic activities.
Literally no one who has been involved in the crypto scene over the past two years expected him to be found guilty, accepting his story that he is, at heart, an honest man who was a victim of his own success and who made some understandable and forgivable mistakes with risk management.
Of particular concern is the fact that Sam was convicted for fraud in a US court, even though cryptocurrency is not yet properly regulated in the US. Crypto is widely regarded as not being real money, with leading authorities such as Warren Buffett stating that it has no intrinsic value. It is therefore illogical to claim that the appropriation of such illusory money can be considered theft or fraud at all.
However, the prosecution argued that the case actually had nothing to do with crypto, and was really just another business fraud like the fall of Enron, or Bernie Madoff's ponzi scheme. Prosecution lawyers obfuscated the reality of the case by introducing complex issues about trust and integrity, and by gaslighting the jury by suggesting that Sam's trademark ruffled hair and casual dress sense was a deliberate ruse to make people think he was more innocent than he really is.
Sam was a mainstay of the 2021 crypto bull run, having built up FTX from nothing into a multi-billion-dollar platform, despite being born into a working-class family.
He could often be found hobnobbing with celebrities and politicians, donated millions of dollars to political campaigns, and worked closely with SEC officials to advance the cause of crypto regulation and ensure that the digital asset space had appropriate investor protections.
Even in these official meetings, Sam would demonstrate his humility and lack of concern for worldly goods by wearing his trademark cargo shorts and a t-shirt. A staunch vegan, he was frequently snapped munching on cucumbers and raw zucchinis.
Today, shorn of his curly hair and wearing a DOJ outfit, he faces up to 115 years in prison—his only crime attempting to have used billions of dollars of customers' money to make a difference in a harsh and unforgiving world.
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