Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced former crypto king who was handed a 25-year sentence for leading a massive fraud, insisted in his first interview from prison that he didn’t believe he was breaking the law — although he also admitted it wasn’t right.

“I never thought that what I was doing was illegal,” Bankman-Fried told ABC News on Sunday. “But I tried to hold myself to a high standard, and I certainly didn’t meet that standard.”

He also said from his jail cell at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn that “of course” he is remorseful after US District Judge Lewis Kaplan said during Bankman-Fried’s sentencing on Thursday that he has an “apparent lack of any real remorse.”

“I’ve heard and seen the despair, frustration and sense of betrayal from thousands of customers; they deserve to be paid in full, at current price,” Bankman-Fried told ABC.

“That could and should have happened in November 2022, and it could and should happen today. It’s excruciating to see them waiting, day after day.”

He added that he “felt the pain” from co-workers too as he “threw away what they poured their lives into,” as well as from the charities he supported “as their funding turned into nothing but reputational damage.”

Some of Bankman-Fried’s former workforce have admitted that they’ve struggled to land another job and have battled depression since FTX’s stunning downfall from its peak valuation of $40 billion.

“I’m haunted, every day, by what was lost,” Bankman-Fried added in his correspondence with ABC. “I never intended to hurt anyone or take anyone’s money. But I was the CEO of FTX, I was responsible for what happened to the company, and when you’re responsible it doesn’t matter why it goes bad.”

“I’d give anything to be able to help repair even part of the damage. I’m doing what I can from prison, but it’s deeply frustrating not to be able to do more.”

More than 1 million customers are believed to have suffered losses as a result of FTX’s sudden November 2022 collapse, which came after Bankman-Fried was found out for having swiped FTX user funds to plug an $8 billion debt at sister company and failing hedge fund Alameda Research.

Bankman-Fried has since been found guilty of seven counts of fraud, conspiracy and money laundering related to his company’s demise.

Victims say they are still owed more than $19 billion based on current crypto prices. Bankman-Fried said to ABC that those debts would have been “paid back long ago,” but the company decided not to restart the FTX exchange, which he claimed could have potentially led to long-term value.

“There are and always have been plenty of assets to repay customers, lenders, and investors in full, at current prices or prices at the time,” he said, according to ABC.

Bankman-Fried had made the same argument in court, claiming that Sullivan & Cromwell, the law firm representing FTX’s new ownership, worked with prosecutors.

The accusations, however, were shot down by the judge, who said during sentencing: “The defendant’s assertion that FTX customers and creditors will be paid in full is misleading. It is logically flawed, it is speculative.”

“At the root, SullCrom’s role in the prosecution, the one-sided media frenzy they incited, and the defense’s inability to get in critical evidence at trial, infected the whole process,” Bankman-Fried told ABC.

Bankman-Fried also suggested that he was not given a fair trial, as he should have had the right to see the FTX documents Sullivan & Cromwell with prosecutors, according to ABC.

Bankman-Fried said his defense team plans to appeal the 25-year sentence later this year based on specifics of trial testimony that “greatly misstated what actually happened” and the fact that his defense was “not allowed to introduce crucial evidence or put on important witnesses,” he told the outlet.

The disgraced crypto boss failed to elaborate on his defense team’s legal strategy.

Judge Kaplan has also ordered Bankman-Fried to pay back more than $11 billion to FTX’s users, investors and lenders.

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