US, 23 April, 2024 Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX, has initiated an appeal against his conviction and imposing 25-year prison term for allegedly siphoning off billions of dollars from clients of his now-defunct cryptocurrency platform.

Bankman-Fried, once hailed as a cryptocurrency luminary, faced a reckoning in November, being found guilty on seven counts of fraud and conspiracy, marking one of the most substantial financial scandals in US annals.

At the zenith of his career, the 32-year-old entrepreneur graced magazine covers and engaged with legislators, epitomizing the cryptocurrency frenzy. However, the precipitous downfall of FTX in 2022, accompanied by a torrent of customer withdrawals, tarnished his image irreparably.

During his sentencing hearing on March 28, Bankman-Fried’s attorney, Marc Mukasey, declared his intent to contest both the verdict and the severe sentence.

Expressing contrition for his role in the FTX debacle, Bankman-Fried admitted remorse, acknowledging the ramifications of his actions. Despite his remorse, US District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan remained unconvinced, emphasizing Bankman-Fried’s failure to exhibit genuine contrition and accountability, raising concerns about future misconduct.

While prosecutors advocated for a 40-50 year prison term, Bankman-Fried’s defense team urged for a more lenient six-year sentence, citing mitigating factors.

Bankman-Fried’s appeal faces a protracted legal battle, necessitating the demonstration of substantial errors by Judge Kaplan during the trial that infringed upon his legal rights. However, prevailing against lower court decisions in US federal courts remains a formidable challenge, with criminal defendants securing appellate victories in fewer than 10 percent of cases.