Sam Bankman-Fried’s bankruptcy narrative revealed in new court documents


U.S. prosecutors have filed new court documents revealing Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried’s plans to restore his public image after the collapse of FTX in 2022.

According to a Google document attached to the government sentencing memorandum filed on March 15, Bankman-Fried listed 19 “random probably bad ideas” intended to change the social media narrative of the crypto exchange’s dramatic downfall.

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The ideas included initiatives such as “go on Tucker Carlsen, come out as a republican,” leaking documents to the press, criticizing lawyers, and being seen as “extremely pro crypto, pro freedom,” along with promoting “a strong anti-Binance message.”

Google Document from Samuel Bankman-Fried’s Email Account. Source: Southern District Court of New York.

The document is part of the government’s argument supporting a 40 to 50-year sentence for the former FTX CEO, who was convicted last November on fraud and money laundering charges. According to the sentencing memorandum, the Google document demonstrates a “significant likelihood” that Bankman-Fried would commit another fraud if released back into society at a young age.

“That is not just speculation. In the days following FTX’s bankruptcy, and even after the defendant had been indicted, he mused about launching “Archangel LTD,” which would be an alternative to FTX’s bankruptcy and would result in the re-launching of an exchange.”

The suggested sentence is significantly lower than the maximum possible term he faces under U.S. sentencing guidelines, which could result in a 110-year sentence. In contrast, Bankman-Fried’s defense counsel is seeking less than seven years in prison, according to a memo filed on Feb. 27. District Judge Lewis Kaplan is scheduled to deliver his decision on March 28.

According to the government, Bankman-Fried’s sentencing submission already shows attempts “to reframe his crimes as mere mistakes or misunderstandings” — a reference to letters submitted by his defense in support of a reduced sentence.

“The point is that the defendant is motivated to launch his redemption narrative and has already been thinking about how to spin it. It is realistic that he will settle on a narrative, lean into it, and convince other people to part with their money based on lies and the promise of false hope.”

Nearly one year after FTX’s collapse, a jury trial concluded that the former executive was guilty of all seven charges brought against him by the U.S. government. Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty. FTX’s new management recently disclosed plans to fully repay creditors based on the price of crypto assets at the time of bankruptcy.

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