FTX Creditors Submit Impact Statements Before Bankman-Fried’s Sentencing, Highlighting Devastating Consequences

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed dozens of victim impact statements in the criminal case against Sam Bankman-Fried ahead of his sentencing.

In the filings, victims of FTX’s collapse expressed their anguish, claiming that the event robbed them of financial security, inflicted emotional distress, and eroded their trust in the financial system. 

The impact statements were provided by FTX creditors from various parts of the world, outlining their FTX holdings and detailing the profound impact of the exchange’s bankruptcy on their lives. 

FTX Victims Highlight Their Precarious Financial Situation

One victim lamented their precarious financial situation, revealing that as a restitution claimant, they had experienced a complete loss of income for over a year. 

“My circumstances are exacerbated by my current unemployment status and ongoing disability recognition process,” they added.

Numerous other respondents shared similar stories, disclosing that they were unemployed due to health issues and heavily relied on the funds they had stored in FTX. 

Many victims expressed their trust in FTX based on Bankman-Fried’s previous remarks about the exchange or their belief that U.S.-based crypto exchanges were regulated and considered safe. 

However, it should be noted that while FTX.US operated within the United States, the primary FTX entity was headquartered in The Bahamas.

Some victims expressed dissatisfaction with the restitution process, highlighting that they would only be receiving 100% of the value of their assets as of November 2022, rather than the current value based on prevailing crypto prices. 

At the time of FTX’s bankruptcy filing, the price of Bitcoin (BTC) hovered around $16,500, whereas it now trades at approximately $65,000.

To protect the privacy of victims, certain names and email addresses were redacted in publicly available versions of the documents. 

However, corporate victim statements remained unredacted. 

In a letter accompanying the impact statements, the DOJ acknowledged that some of the statements appeared to follow a template, with individuals substituting their account values and loss amounts. 

Many of the letters, both templated and individualized, emphasized the frustration of waiting for their funds and the loss of value during that time.

One impact statement pleaded for the court’s consideration of the full extent of the consequences caused by Sam Bankman-Fried’s actions and FTX’s collapse, emphasizing the importance of not only penalizing the wrongdoer but also ensuring genuine compensation for the victim’s losses.

DOJ Asks for 50-Year Sentence for Bankman-Fried

The submission of these impact statements coincides with the DOJ’s recent filing of a sentencing memorandum, recommending a prison term of 40 to 50 years for Bankman-Fried’s conviction on seven fraud and conspiracy charges in November. 

Notably, this recommendation is lower than the 100-year sentence proposed in a Presentence Investigation Report prepared by a probation officer.

In response, Bankman-Fried’s defense team submitted their own sentencing memorandum, urging District Judge Lewis Kaplan to impose a lighter sentence of no more than 6.5 years

The defense included multiple character reference letters from Bankman-Fried’s family, supporters of the Effective Altruism philosophy, former FTX employees, and others.

The sentencing hearing for Sam Bankman-Fried is scheduled for March 28 at 9:30 a.m. ET. 

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