Mar 21, 2024 - Economy

FTX CEO on Sam Bankman-Fried: "Continues to live a life of delusion"

Sam Bankman-Fried looks toward the camera with a slight grin.

FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried. Photo: Yuki Iwamura/Bloomberg via Getty Images

FTX CEO John Ray III eviscerated founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried for bad math ahead of his criminal sentencing next week.

Why it matters: The rule of thumb for criminal sentencing is that "the larger the loss, the longer the potential sentence," Ray said, pushing back against SBF's recent claim that there weren't actually any losses to begin with when his crypto exchange collapsed.

  • "Mr. Bankman-Fried continues to live a life of delusion," Ray wrote. "The 'business' he left on November 11, 2022 was neither solvent nor safe."

Catch up fast: Ray is addressing comments from SBF's legal team Tuesday, filed as a response to the Department of Justice's sentencing recommendation.

  • They point out that customers and lenders are expected to made whole. "The truth is, there were never losses," defense attorney Marc Mukasey wrote. "Each victim quoted in the government's opposition will receive 100 cents on the dollar — plus interest."
  • The DoJ's 40 to 50-year sentencing recommendation is too harsh, he added: "Crushing Sam in this way is unnecessary."

The other side: The combination of FTX bankruptcy estate efforts to recover value and the crypto market's turn to the positive does not absolve SBF.

  • A "current value approach" can't happen because of what SBF did, Ray said: "...When I took over as CEO, there were only 105 bitcoins left on the exchange, against customer entitlements of nearly 100,000 bitcoins."

The intrigue: FTX victim impact statements also show that definitions of "whole" may differ even from the court's.

  • The value of their crypto as defined by the bankruptcy case petition date is roughly 400% lower compared to what it is now, per Ray's letter.
  • FTX's victims don't want a refund, they want their coins.

The bottom line: Many things still have to go right for creditors to see 100% of their funds, according to Ray. But even if that happens, he says, it won't be because of SBF, but in spite of him.

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