Prosecutors Seek 7-Year Prison Sentence for Reggie Fowler in Crypto Shadow Bank Case

The former professional football player pleaded guilty to bank and wire fraud charges over operating Crypto Capital Corp., the shadow bank that lost Bitfinex's millions.

AccessTimeIconApr 19, 2023 at 1:20 p.m. UTC
Updated Apr 20, 2023 at 8:23 a.m. UTC
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U.S. prosecutors have asked a court to sentence Reggie Fowler, a former professional football player who became an entrepreneur, to at least seven years in prison in the case involving Crypto Capital Corp., the shadow bank that lost hundreds of millions of exchange platform Bitfinex's money.

Fowler, the alleged operator of Crypto Capital Corp., pleaded guilty to charges of bank fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy last April – around two years after rejecting a plea deal.

Court documents filed on Wednesday show prosecutors requesting a sentence of at least seven years in prison – reduced from the typical recommended 15-20 years for similar crimes – and an order of forfeiture upward of $740 million.

"Reginald Fowler has committed serious crimes. Only a significant period of incarceration, of at least 84 months’ imprisonment, could reflect that seriousness, promote respect for the law, and afford adequate deterrence," the court document said.

Prosecutors also ask the court to issue an order of restitution amounting to $53 million on behalf of the Alliance of American Football, which they say was "a victim of Fowler’s wire fraud."

“I have longstanding admiration for the prosecutors seeking a seven-year sentence, but their request is seven years too long. The factors of the controlling statutory sentencing statutes and the very recent amendments to the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines all cry out for a non-custodial sentence for this remarkable man who has overcome obstacles that are perhaps even more extraordinary than are the achievements that he has gained throughout the last six decades of his life.  We remain confident that the Court will agree that Reggie Fowler does not belong in prison," Fowler's attorney, Edward Sapone of Sapone & Petrillo, LLP, said in an emailed statement to CoinDesk.

Update (April 20, 8:23 UTC): Adds response from representatives for Reggie Fowler in last paragraph.

Edited by Parikshit Mishra.


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Sandali Handagama

Sandali Handagama is CoinDesk's deputy managing editor for policy and regulations, EMEA. She does not own any crypto.

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