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HomeFinanceSam Bankman Fried's mom requested for a lenient sentence for her son:...

Sam Bankman Fried’s mom requested for a lenient sentence for her son: ‘He has by no means felt happiness or pleasure in his life and doesn’t suppose he’s able to feeling it’

Solely Sam Bankman-Fried is aware of precisely why he dedicated the crimes that landed him a 25-year jail sentence, however a letter from his mother to the choose that oversaw his case casts some gentle on his enigmatic persona and motivations.

As his mom, former Stanford regulation professor Barbara Fried, explains within the six-page letter, Bankman-Fried was a reserved and quiet baby who required little consideration. When he was rising up, the previous FTX CEO most popular to focus extra on the wants of others and was seemingly detached to his personal, based on Fried.

Fried describes how SBF was usually the sounding board for classmates whose dad and mom had been going by way of divorce or who had different issues, for a few of which he requested his dad and mom’ counsel.

Via mental curiosity, she writes, Bankman-Fried later found utilitarianism, a philosophy that insists actions are proper in the event that they profit the best variety of folks. It was a doctrine that may significantly affect his life, and finally, his choice to begin the crypto alternate he constructed into one of many world’s largest—earlier than its spectacular collapse.

“The premises of utilitarianism clearly resonated strongly with what Sam had already come to imagine on his personal, however gave him a extra systematic approach to consider the issue and related him to an internet neighborhood of like-minded folks deeply engaged in the identical mental and ethical journey,” Fried writes.

The “like-minded folks” he would later affiliate with principally belonged to a philanthropic motion known as efficient altruism that adheres to the ideas of utilitarianism. Its members have lofty ambitions of worldwide charitable giving, however have additionally been accused of being morally bankrupt and unusually insular, backed by a few of the richest in Silicon Valley. The Centre for Efficient Altruism and its members later distanced themselves from SBF following his firm’s implosion.

The affect of his supposed utilitarian beliefs led him to turn into vegetarian and later vegan, wrote Fried. His concern for the therapy of animals decided him to stay vegan even whereas in jail.

“He has misplaced 30 kilos since he was remanded to jail in August. He has by no means as soon as complained to us or, so far as I do know, the jail authorities. He has simply made do, as a result of it was vital sufficient to him to take action,” she wrote.

When he was deciding on a profession, she says he selected to pursue a high-paying job at quantitative buying and selling agency Jane Avenue so he might make much more cash to later give away.

“In his three years there, he gave away over half of his earnings. Characteristically, he by no means instructed us–a good friend of his did,” Fried wrote. “He has by no means been interested by reward, and has all the time deflected it.”

When SBF began his crypto buying and selling agency, Alameda Analysis, he cited utilitarian pondering as his motivation and used it to recruit others with related beliefs. But, as a substitute of donating Alameda’s earnings to charity, they used them to fund FTX, which might later make SBF a billionaire, and produce him one step nearer to charitable ambitions he by no means totally realized, and a few would possibly argue, he by no means really had within the first place. 

“I needed to get wealthy, not as a result of I like cash however as a result of I needed to present that cash to charity,” he mentioned in an interview from 2022.

In her letter, Fried didn’t categorical regret for the individuals who might have misplaced their life financial savings when her son’s firm fell aside however did lament that FTX’s failure meant SBF’s charitable tasks can be minimize quick.

“The vaccine analysis mission he sponsored was in all probability the very best Affect reward he made in 2022, however there have been many others, and lots of extra promising tasks within the works with probably large affect on the lives of the least effectively off that had been minimize off by the FTX implosion,” she wrote.

Within the aftermath of FTX’s chapter, SBF shared together with his dad and mom that his despair left him unable to really feel happiness.

“We knew about his despair, however he described one thing deeper and sadder: that he has by no means felt happiness or pleasure in his Iife and doesn’t suppose he’s able to feeling it,” she wrote.

Fried pleaded with the choose in her letter to present SBF a lenient sentence and never lock him away for many years because the prosecution needed. Placing him in jail for thus lengthy would “destroy Sam as absolutely as would hanging him,” she reasoned.

“If allowed to renew his life, he would do the one factor he has ever cared about: commit the rest of his pure life to leaving the world a greater place than he discovered it,” Fried wrote.

Regardless of his mom’s form phrases, a few of the individuals who knew SBF greatest, his FTX colleagues (and roommates), contradict her account of him as a selfless particular person involved in regards to the welfare of the world in addition to his associates.

At his trial, SBF’s FTX cofounder, the corporate’s head of engineering, and his ex-girlfriend and Alameda Analysis CEO testified that SBF directed them to commit crimes and falsify information. 

Alameda Analysis CEO Caroline Ellison mentioned SBF took his utilitarian dogma to an excessive and used it to justify unhealthy actions, including throughout his trial that “guidelines like ‘don’t lie’ or ‘don’t steal’ didn’t match into that framework.”

In November, Bankman-Fried was discovered responsible of seven legal counts that included wire fraud and cash laundering. Though his family and friends had pleaded for a sentence of simply six-and-a-half years or much less citing his good character, final week, a federal choose sentenced him to 25 years behind bars. His mom, now 72, might not dwell to see him launched.

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