In a high-profile case that has garnered considerable attention, Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced CEO of the now-bankrupt FTX crypto exchange, is seeking a lighter sentence, citing his autism spectrum disorder.

Bankman-Fried’s lawyers argue that his condition makes him “uniquely vulnerable” in a prison environment and should result in a reduced sentence of five to six years instead of the maximum 110-year term recommended by sentencing guidelines

Sam Bankman-Fried’s Lawyers Argue For Reduced Sentence

According to a Fortune Magazine report, in a sentencing memo filed by Bankman-Fried’s legal team, they contend that his autism spectrum disorder puts him at a “higher risk of violence” and extortion from other inmates due to his behavior. 

Sam Bankman-Fried’s attorneys also note that he may have difficulty responding to social “cues and unwritten rules” in the prison environment, which could lead to misunderstandings and conflicts. The memo also mentions Bankman-Fried’s struggle with anhedonic depression, for which he has been taking medication since his college years.

Bankman-Fried was found guilty of seven counts related to fraud, including misappropriation of customer funds. The allegations involve the misuse of funds for personal gains, leaving customers, some of whom lost their life savings, in financial distress. 

Prosecutors have yet to file their sentencing recommendations. However, the sentencing guidelines suggest a staggering prison term of 110 years, reflecting the severity of the charges.

Letters Of Support

Sam Bankman-Fried’s family, friends, and some individuals who know him well have reportedly submitted letters of support to the judge, highlighting his positive attributes and social behavior. Some supporters argue that his autism and social deficits make him more vulnerable to abuse and harassment within the prison system. 

Others, however, believe that the seriousness of the crimes committed and the impact on the victims should outweigh considerations of leniency, the report notes. 

Advocates further contend that neurodivergent individuals may require accommodations and support to ensure fair and just treatment. They emphasize the need for sensitivity training among prison staff and the development of appropriate frameworks to address the unique challenges faced by individuals with autism. 

On the other hand, critics contend that the severity of the crimes committed should be the primary factor in determining the appropriate sentence.

Sam Bankman-Fried’s hearing is scheduled for March 28, where the judge will consider the arguments presented by both the defense and the prosecution.

As the sentencing date approaches, the court’s decision will have an impact not only on Sam Bankman-Fried but also on the broader discussion surrounding fraud cases within the crypto industry ecosystem, as well as the potential for increased regulatory crackdowns to prevent similar cases.

Sam Bankman-Fried
The daily chart shows FTT’s sideways price action in the past 24 hours. Source: FTTUSD on

As of now, FTX’s native token FTT is currently trading at $1.815, recording a sideways price movement over the past 24 hours. However, the token has gained 5% over the past seven days.

Featured image from Shutterstock, chart from 

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