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SBF Appeals Jail Term, as Do Kwon Awaits His Fate

They were billionaires with cult-like followings. But now, life is unrecognizable for these two fallen crypto entrepreneurs.

Sam Bankman-Fried, already given 25 years' jail time for fraud following the dramatic collapse of FTX, is now appealing both his conviction and sentence.

Judge Lewis Kaplan had seemed keen to strike a compromise when deciding his punishment — with 32-year-old's lawyers seeking as little as five years, and the prosecution up to 50.

But there was little doubt that the judge had a clear objective when condemning SBF to a prison cell until his 50s: "disabling" him from causing fresh harm to consumers.

Bankman-Fried is unlikely to get a quick decision as his appeal heads to the 2nd Circuit, as the process could take years and would hinge upon proving the judge presided over an unfair trial.

Meanwhile, over in Montenegro, a court has ruled that Terraform Labs co-founder Do Kwon can be extradited to face criminal charges over the collapse of the UST and LUNA cryptocurrencies.

He is currently on bail after serving a four-month sentence for attempting to fly to Dubai using forged travel documents, and is residing in a shelter for foreigners near Podgorica.

But with his native South Korea and the U.S. issuing competing extradition requests, Montenegro's justice minister must now decide where Kwon should face a judge.

A Montenegrin court had previously decided that Kwon's home country should take precedence — but reports have suggested that American prosecutors are determined to appeal. 

Earlier this month, a New York jury had found Terraform Labs and Kwon liable on civil fraud charges after investors lost an estimated $40 billion when UST's peg to the dollar disintegrated.

SBF and Kwon aren't the only crypto bad actors currently facing the prospect of jail time.

Three FTX executives — including Bankman-Fried's on-off girlfriend Caroline Ellison — entered into plea deals and are yet to be sentenced. Ellison was the CEO of the exchange's sister company Alameda Research, which had secretly used funds belonging to FTX customers in order to make risky bets. She had testified during SBF's trial alongside FTX co-founder Gary Wang and the doomed exchange's engineering chief Nishad Singh.

Elsewhere, Binance's Changpeng Zhao is set to be sentenced on April 30 after pleading guilty to money laundering violations. "CZ" remains in the U.S. after being deemed a flight risk because of his "enormous wealth and property abroad" — and is widely expected to be sentenced to about 18 months behind bars. The disgraced entrepreneur, who like SBF had graced the front covers of countless glossy magazines, oversaw a platform that allowed sanctioned individuals to trade cryptocurrencies.