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Sam Bankman-Fried FTX fraud victim says life was destroyed

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NEW YORK, US – JANUARY 03: Sam Bankman-Fried leaves the court in New York, on January 03, 2023. 

Fatih Aktas | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

In a letter to the Department of Justice, an FTX customer who lost $4 million when the exchange filed for bankruptcy in 2022 expressed disgust at a circulating narrative that clients of the crypto exchange would ever be made whole.

“I have scraped the docket of scheduled claims and calculated the exact amount stolen,” wrote the former FTX customer, whose identity has been concealed by the government. “The total value of customer liabilities is $19,722,911,002.84.”

Update: FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried sentenced to 25 years for crypto fraud, to pay $11 billion in forfeiture

The Collapse of FTX: Insiders Tell All

This week, that letter ended up on the desk of U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, who on Thursday will inform FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried of his prison sentence stemming from his role in the collapse of the exchange. At 9:30 a.m., sentencing proceedings will take place on the 26th floor of the federal courthouse in downtown Manhattan, the same place where a jury found the former crypto executive guilty of all seven criminal counts against him in November.

The victim, who wrote that 30 years worth of savings had been deposited into FTX three months before the exchange collapsed, is part of a last-minute push by prosecutors to sway Judge Kaplan ahead of the sentencing.

Sam Bankman-Fried's family on sentencing: We are heartbroken and will continue to fight for our son

“My whole life has been destroyed,” the person wrote. “I have 2 young children, one born right before the collapse. Beyond the money, I lost my happiness, my ability to get out of bed, my desire to continue living. My wife is suicidal and depressed.”

The same sorts of stories were told during Bankman-Fried’s monthlong criminal trial last year. Prosecutors won their case by convincing jurors that Bankman-Fried had stolen at least $8 billion from customers. For some people, that meant financial ruin.

“In its sentencing submission, the prosecution has included moving accounts from FTX’s former customers that speak to the devastation experienced by those losing their money, the uncertainty of wondering whether they might ever get any of it back, and dealing with the emotional fallout of being duped,” said Yesha Yadav, law professor and Associate Dean at Vanderbilt University. “These victim impact statements can be very powerful.”

Sam Bankman-Fried faces up to 50 years in prison at sentencing hearing

Bankman-Fried, 32, faces a maximum sentence of more than 100 years in prison, though the government has suggested a sentence in the range of 40 to 50 years. The defense is angling for no more than 6.5 years.

For months, Judge Kaplan has been weighing the appropriate punishment for Bankman-Fried’s crimes related to the implosion of his $32 billion crypto empire.

CNBC spoke to former federal prosecutors, trial attorneys, and a mix of lawyers working to defend white collar criminals to get their take on what to expect on Thursday.

Damaging testimony

Bankman-Fried was convicted of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud against FTX customers and against…

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Sam Bankman-Fried FTX fraud victim says life was destroyed

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