Convicted Fraudster And Dem Megadonor Asks For Lighter Sentence Due To Autism

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Convicted cryptocurrency fraudster Sam Bankman-Fried’s lawyer requested a considerably lighter sentence for his client because of his autism, according to a Tuesday evening court filing.

A jury found Bankman-Fried guilty on seven counts of fraud and conspiracy-related charges in November and the sentence recommendation is 100 years in prison, according to the filing. His lawyer, Marc Mukasey, is asking for a 60-78 month sentence, citing the convicted fraudster’s philanthropic ventures and asserting Bankman-Fried is particularly at risk in prison as he has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). (RELATED: ‘He Directed Me To Commit These Crimes’: Alleged Fraudster’s Ex Blames Him At Trial)

“Sam is uniquely vulnerable in a prison population. Individuals with ASD are often at considerably greater risk of physical harm and extortion in prison than other inmates … [The disorder] would render him extraordinarily vulnerable to abuse in prison and weighed in favor of granting downward variance). Because individuals with ASD may have difficulty responding to certain social cues and contexts, they are at risk from both other inmates and prison guards who may view their failure to respond ‘appropriately’ to social cues as disrespectful or disobedient,” Mucaskey wrote.

Bankman-Fried’s mother Barbara Fried also asked for a lighter sentence for her son for similar reasons, according to a letter to the judge on Tuesday.

“I genuinely fear for Sam’s life in the typical prison environment,” Fried wrote. “Sam’s outward presentation, his inability to read or respond appropriately to many social cues, and his touching but naïve belief in the power of facts and reason to resolve disputes, put him in extreme danger.”

The convicted fraudster used FTX customer funds for “charitable contributions,” according to the August indictment against him.

“Well before Alameda or FTX ever existed, Sam committed his life to philanthropy, pledging to earn money and give it away, with the goal of “helping the world’s poorest people,'” Mucaskey wrote. “Sam does not just talk about making the world a better place, he takes action.”

Bankman-Fried gave over $30 million overwhelmingly in support of Democrat-aligned causes and was the second-largest individual contributor to them during the 2022 midterm election cycle, according to The Washington Post’s analysis of Federal Election Commission data. His sentencing is set for March 28.

Mucaskey called the 100-year recommendation “grotesque” and “barbaric” in the filing. Bankman-Fried allegedly “misappropriated and embezzled FTX customer deposits, and used billions of dollars in stolen funds for a variety of purposes, including … to help fund over a hundred million dollars in campaign contributions to Democrats and Republicans to seek to influence cryptocurrency regulation,” according to the August indictment.

Bankman-Fried co-founded and was CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, which collapsed in November 2022 as it faced allegations of mishandling billions in customer funds. Caroline Ellison, Bankman-Fried’s ex-girlfriend and former CEO of Alameda Research, the sister hedge fund to FTX, testified that he told her to commit fraud regarding FTX and Alameda’s relationship, asserting he established a system to permit the hedge fund to withdraw unlimited funds from the cryptocurrency exchange.

Mucaskey did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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