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Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX workforce struggling to move on after firm’s downfall: report

Some former staffers at Sam Bankman Fried’s now-bankrupt FTX are reportedly struggling to find work again and battling depression since the cryptocurrency exchange’s stunning collapse. .

According to the Wall Street Journal, Natalie Tien, who headed FTX’s public affairs and was also an executive assistant to Bankman Fried, has at least $500,000 of personal investments tied up in FTX, and is expected to close FTX in November 2022. He said he has seen various cryptocurrencies disappear due to bankruptcies.

Thien told the magazine that in the months since Bankman Freed was accused of misappropriating FTX users’ funds to cover $8 billion in debt from its sister company and failed hedge fund Alameda Research, During that time, he suffered from depression and cried irregularly in public places. Grocery store in New York City.

The downfall of Sam Bankman Fried came Thursday when he was sentenced to 25 years in prison for misappropriating FTX users’ funds to pay off $8 billion in debt from his sister company, failed hedge fund Alameda Research. , ended. AP

Tien attended Bankman Freed’s trial last fall in hopes of finding closure, but she couldn’t help but feel sad when her former boss was sentenced to 25 years in prison on Thursday.

During sentencing, Judge Lewis Kaplan said the 32-year-old former billionaire had “presented himself as a good person” by supporting “proper regulation of the cryptocurrency industry,” but his friendly personality He said it was just “acting”.

Kaplan said Bankman Fried had a “lack of true remorse” and ordered the ousted tycoon to repay more than $11 billion to FTX users, investors and financiers. .

Bankman-Freed’s parents had asked the judge to give her a lighter sentence because she showed signs of being on the autism spectrum.

Natalie Tien, who led public relations for FTX and was also an executive assistant to Bankman Freed, reportedly lost at least $500,000 of her personal investment in the November 2022 collapse of FTX. Photo of handout

“He’s a great guy and his talent could be better used elsewhere,” Tien told the publication.

Can San, FTX’s former general counsel, also struggles to understand what happened to the company, which was worth $40 billion at its peak.

“It’s like, ‘What the hell was going on? From what I was looking at in the office, it wasn’t obvious at all,” Sun said, the paper reported.

Andrew Crogan worked as Alameda’s chief operating officer. He said Bankman Freed was not a villain. “He could have stolen a lot more money for himself if that’s what he really wanted to do,” he told The Wall Street Journal. LinkedIn/Andrew Crogan

Neither Tien nor Sun have been charged with any crime, the paper said.

Sun reportedly learned of the crime on November 7, 2022, when other FTX executives pulled him into a conference room to talk about emergency funding. At that point, Sun learned that billions of dollars were missing.

Later, as Mr. Sun was strolling around his Bahamas apartment with Mr. Bankman Freed (who was arrested in December 2022), the FTX Director warned that Alameda’s use of customer funds could be subject to potential legal consequences. The newspaper reported that he asked if it was legitimate.

Sun resigned the next day.

FTX’s former general counsel Can Sun told WSJ that he resigned from the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange after learning the amount of missing funds. Facebook/Fenwick LLP

He told the Journal that he was having trouble finding work because FTX’s reputation continued throughout his job search.

According to the newspaper, a major cryptocurrency company refused to meet with Sun because of his relationship with FTX, but he ended up becoming the head of legal and compliance for Backpack, a new cryptocurrency exchange led by former Alameda. He was able to get a job as a. employee.

“Sam was never frank with me or anyone else when this whole thing happened,” Sun told the magazine, adding that Bankman Freed knowingly accused customers of He added that he was angry that he had never acknowledged that he had misappropriated funds.

Sun later testified against his former boss. According to the newspaper, although he denied any wrongdoing, he agreed to the plea deal out of an abundance of caution because he may have unknowingly approved transactions involving misappropriated funds.

At trial, Bankman Freed characterized FTX’s collapse as a failure of risk management rather than a crime.

At its peak, FTX was worth $40 billion. AFP (via Getty Images)

According to testimony from the government’s star witness, Caroline Ellison (Bankman Fried’s former lover and business partner), Bankman Freed once said, “The only moral rule that matters is what maximizes utility. He is said to have said, “Whatever produces the greatest good for the people.” This is the maximum number of people. ”

“He said that he was a utilitarian and believed that the way people tried to justify rules like “don’t lie” and “don’t steal” under utilitarianism didn’t work.”28 Ellison told jurors. Manhattan Federal Court.

Kaplan cited testimony at Thursday’s sentencing that said the contents were “to the extent possible and intended to incapacitate him for a significant period of time.”

Bankman Freed’s attorneys Mark Mukasey and Tory Young did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.

“People think of him as a run-of-the-mill villain with a mustache. I don’t think that’s the case…If that’s what he really wanted to do, he could steal more money for himself. We could have done that,” former Alameda chief operating officer Andrew Krogan told the Journal.

Still, Krogan said he has no idea what happened since his time at Alameda.

“This was someone I believed in, someone I trusted,” Krogan said. “This has created a tremendous amount of collateral damage and negative repercussions.”

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