SBF Supporters Use Autism as Excuse for Lenient Sentencing

More pro-SBF letters surface ahead of upcoming sentencing as his supporters cite new conditions as reasons for his actions.

Sam Bankman Fried in an RGB split.
Created by Gabor Kovacs from DailyCoin
  • SBF’s sentencing trial will take place in a few days.
  • The former FTX CEO’s loved ones are advocating for lenient judgment as the sentencing nears.
  • SBF faces multiple decades behind bars.

Following his conviction on multiple counts of fraud in the collapse of FTX, the question of SBF’s fate has lingered across the industry as his sentencing nears. While prosecutors assert that the fallen crypto mogul deserves at least 40 to 50 years behind bars, SBF’s legal team has gone on a ‘lenient-sentence’ advocacy campaign with a string of tactics, seeking to mitigate the sentence he faces.

Continuing the trend, more supporters have joined the ‘pro–SBF’ campaign, seeking little to no time behind bars for the convicted CEO.

SBF Sentencing Plea: “He Did Not Understand What Was Going On”

In various letters on Tuesday, March 26, five individuals called on US Judge Lewis Kaplan to temper SBF’s judgment with mercy, factoring faults in the disgraced crypto mogul’s neurological traits.


One stand-out excuse was the assertion that SBF had been diagnosed as on the autistic spectrum, which allegedly played a significant role in the actions that led up to his conviction. Advocate Maria Centrella emphasized that SBF’s autism should be considered as a mitigating factor in his sentencing, adding that the former FTX CEO was likely unaware of the crimes he was committing.

“I firmly believe that while he may be an MIT grad - he did not fully understand the scope of what was going on and did not have malicious intent,” stated Centrella.

Another Matt Kelly, in a letter with three others, emphasized that the manner of his trial and the psychological troubles stemming from it, as evidenced by the testimony of Caroline Ellison and other SBF co-workers, should be taken into account during his sentencing. 

They emphasized that determining the most appropriate type of institution for SBF should receive additional consideration. However, the recent pleas are not isolated; they represent the latest legal efforts to secure minimal time behind bars for SBF.

SBF Sentencing Campaign

Over the past month, SBF’s lawyers have raised pleas for leniency ahead of his sentencing trial, marked by limitless arguments citing his mental health conditions.


On February 28, SBF’s defense counsel submitted a sentencing memorandum to the United States District Court Of the Southern District of New York, touting SBF’s image in the lobby for a sentence no longer than 63-78 months, approximately five to six and a half years. 

“Those who know Sam know he is selfless, altruistic, and a young man who has demonstrated throughout his life “a genuine concern for those less fortunate around the world,” the memorandum stated, adding that, “as a society, we need more people like him,” the lawyers stated.

Bankman-Fried’s family and friends have submitted an additional 27 letters expressing concern for his well-being and asserting that his personal traits make him unsuitable for prison. 

On the Flipside

  • Despite the arguments that SBF’s autistic spectrum factored into his crimes, the condition is renowned for its positive effects and is not indicative of incapability or irresponsibility.
  • SBF’s team has argued that the 2022 FTX collapse was due to bad business decisions and not maliciously driven.
  • Nearly two years after its collapse, an extensive list of creditors awaits compensation for the $8 billion loss incurred.

Why This Matters

The arguments of neurological disorders as excuses for fraud ahead of SBF’s sentencing underscore the relentless efforts by his team to mitigate the consequences of his actions. However, it is a dangerous and outdated viewpoint that is unlikely to hold up as an excuse for his litany of crimes in the eyes of a judge.

Read more about the efforts to reduce the judgment SBF faces:

SBF Prosecutors Want 50 Years: Is FTX Founder’s Fate Sealed? 

Discover more about the performance of this token as it sets sights on ATH recovery:

SUI Token Brushes $2 Peg in Rally Near All-Time High

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Grace Abidemi

Grace Abidemi, a cryptocurrency reporter at DailyCoin, covers industry developments and trends. She previously worked as a freelance writer. With a Bachelor's degree in German Language and certifications in marketing and storytelling, Grace creates engaging content. When not working, she's in Nigeria, mastering cooking and canvas painting, and enjoys learning about different cultures and languages.