Retail and institutional investors weren’t the only ones who got carried away by FTX’s rapid and jaw-dropping crash last week.

In addition to losing their jobs at the now bankrupt exchange, many of FTX’s employees also appear to have a significant amount of personal wealth locked up in the platform, wealth that was likely lost after being sucked into the black hole of FTX’s disaster.

FTX’s deficit was created, according to a Wall Street Journal report last week, by former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried’s penchant for playing fast and loose with client funds, using them to cover his trading firm’s debts. quantitative, Alameda Research, violating the terms and conditions of the exchange.

Former FTX marketing chief Nathaniel Whittemore, who is also a CoinDesk podcaster, said this week that he and most other employees at the exchange had no idea of ​​the alleged fraudulent handling of client funds. His account rhymes with claims other former employees have made on social media, as well as a CoinDesk report last week that showed Bankman-Fried’s inner circle may have had an unusual level of control over the company.

Read more: Bankman-Fried’s cabal of roommates in the Bahamas ran their own dated crypto empire. Other employees have many questions.

In an episode of The Breakdown released on Monday, Whittemore said employees were being kept in the dark and that many of them, especially FTX’s non-US staff, used the exchange like a bank and were unaware that their savings they would have already been squandered.

“You have to understand how devastated the average FTX employee was” after Binance’s bailout of FTX fell through, Whittemore said. “Not only, then, did it look like they might be out of work, but they were also potentially facing the total loss of their savings.”

Another former employee who asked to remain anonymous backed up Whittemore’s claim, telling CoinDesk that many FTX staff members kept money from their paychecks at the exchange because it was convenient, using FTX’s easy fiat ramps to withdraw. money when they needed it.

The employees’ use of FTX as a bank was encouraged by Bankman-Fried and other higher-ups, according to former employees who spoke to CoinDesk on the condition of anonymity.

According to anonymous Twitter account Capital of Autism, after FTX bought Binance’s shares in the company last year, employees were encouraged to invest in at a 50% discount, which the company promised to pay up to $250,000, a deal that would been heavily promoted internally. That equity, along with other employee funds (including bonuses sometimes given in the form of FTT, the exchange’s native token) would then be stored on the FTX platform.

A former employee confirmed the veracity of Autism Capital’s allegations and provided CoinDesk with a screenshot of an internal spreadsheet that appears to show FTX employee holdings as part of a larger list of investments in the platform.

It is currently unclear whether any employees were able to withdraw their funds from the exchange before withdrawals were halted.

If Whittemore’s account of the Breakdown is anything to go by, the likely answer is “no.”

“To me, all I could feel was anger and white hot rage while Sam and those around him wouldn’t even give these people the fucking courtesy of a message on Slack to give them an explanation of what they could expect,” Whittemore said.

“It wasn’t just… that Sam and a small group around him perpetrated a fraud, which they did,” Whittemore added. “From the moment the fraud was exposed and the market started reacting, every single ounce of their effort has gone into self-preservation,” he added. “He was callous, cruel and utterly devoid of any genuine human consideration.”

Representatives from both FTX and Bankman-Fried did not respond to CoinDesk’s requests for comment.

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