Sam Bankman-Fried’s Ex-Employees Are Left Hopeless, Can’t Find Jobs

Sam Bankman-Fried’s former FTX employees reportedly feel depressed and can’t find jobs following the cryptocurrency exchange’s shocking downfall. The Wall Street Journal spoke to some of them. 

FTX’s collapse

Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried was sentenced to 25 years in prison by a Manhattan federal Judge, Lewis Kaplan, after being found guilty of scheming a multibillion-dollar fraud at the now-bankrupt crypto exchange. The company’s collapse left millions affected, including some of the former employees. 

An ex-PR for FTX spoke up 

Natalie Tien, a PR at FTX and Bankman-Fried’s executive assistant, lost around $500,000 after the firm’s collapse. Like many others, Tien had personal investments in the company, the Wall Street Journal reported. Tien told the Journal that she suffered from depression following the company’s crash. 

No lost love 

Tien attended the trial and the sentencing, seeking closure. Despite her boss receiving 25 years in prison, she did not feel bad for him. During sentencing, Kaplan said that Bankman-Fried acted like a friendly guy and that the 32-year-old showed no remorse. 

Tien’s only remorse

The former PR and assistant to the disgraced former billionaire said he was brilliant and wished he had used his talents elsewhere. His parents asked for a lighter sentence, citing Bankman-Fried as being on the spectrum. 

Another former employee was affected 

Can Sun, who worked as FTX’s general counsel, was shocked by the revelations and was a key witness at the criminal trial of ex-FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried. According to reports, he learned about the crimes from other FTX executives in November 2022. Reports claim billions were already missing. 

FTX is following Sun

According to the Journal, Sun struggled to find work because his name was attached to the disgraced company. However, he is now head of legal affairs and compliance for the Backpack crypto exchange started by a former Alameda Research staffer. 

Star witness

Caroline Ellison, the star witness for the Department of Justice and Sam Bankman-Fried’s ex-girlfriend, ran FTX’s sister hedge fund, Alameda Research. She pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud, two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit commodities fraud, and more. Due to her cooperation, her sentence will likely be more lenient. 

Sun’s testimony 

Sun testified he was assured that the customer assets were always protected and safeguarded. He added he thought about resigning over the situation, but he didn’t know then that it was the same mechanism Alameda used to take FTX funds. He told the Journal that Bankman-Fried never told anyone the truth, which only angered him. 

Confusion all around 

Another former employee, Alameda COO Andrew Croghan, told the Journal that he’s struggling to understand all that had happened and shared that he once believed in Bankman-Fried. Croghan noted that Bankman-Friend could have taken more money if that was his only goal. 

A top executive knew Bankman-Fried since childhood  

Another witness for the prosecution was Nishad Singh, a childhood friend of the defendant’s brother. Still, Singh testified he was always afraid of Bankman-Fried and grew distrustful with time. 

Some ex-employees started fresh 

Brett Harrison, former president at FTX.US, resigned from the company in September 2022 – two months before its collapse – over disagreements with Bankman-Fried about management structure. He founded the startup Architect Financial Technologies. Armani Ferrante founded Backpack alongside Sun and Tristan Yver. 

Some of the FTX investors are still fighting 

FTX was among the most prominent digital currency exchange platforms for buying and selling cryptocurrencies, which is how it reached over a million investors. Bankman-Fried’s attorneys argued that the investors largely returned their funds, but bankruptcy lawyers disputed this. 

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