"The fact that I have done that harm weighs enormously on me."
Last week, FTX cofounder Sam Bankman-Fried was found guilty on all seven counts, concluding a tumultuous trial.
The disgraced crypto baron is now facing a "very long sentence" for defrauding investors out of a whopping $8 billion, per judge Lewis Kaplan, and is now facing a maximum of 110 years behind bars.
Where's the one-time wunderkind mentally? It's tough to say, but in newly-released audio recorded by journalist Tiffany Fong, who held several interview sessions with Bankman-Fried while he was on house arrest earlier this year, the former CEO admitted a surprising degree of culpability.
"If my life ended now I would have almost certainly done net harm to the world and... it’s hard to spin that," he told Fong in a clip shared on X after she asked him how he felt about spending the rest of his life in prison.
"The fact that I have done that harm weighs enormously on me," he added.
Sam Bankman-Fried on the prospect of life in prison. pic.twitter.com/ai0VaHSunx
— Tiffany Fong (@TiffanyFong_) November 3, 2023
It's a depressing admission, underlining Bankman-Fried's outspoken commitment to the "effective altruism" community, a philosophical movement arguing that we should use all our resources to maximize the amount of good in the world.
He publicly supported these efforts by donating millions to charities. In practice, however, as Bankman-Fried admitted himself, robbing investors of billions of dollars probably far outweighed the good those donations did.
But it's not like prosecutors needed to hear that from him anyway.
Last week, the jury took a mere four hours and change to complete their deliberations, convicting Bankman-Fried on all seven counts.
In short, it's tough to empathize with Bankman-Fried — but at least he's showing some degree of remorse for what he did.
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