Sam Bankman-Fried has to repay $11 billion. How can he possibly do that?

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By Eva Rothenberg | CNN

New York — A federal judge on Thursday ordered Sam Bankman-Fried to repay more than $11 billion as part of his sentence for defrauding customers and investors in his failed crypto exchange FTX.

Experts say this amount will likely financially incapacitate him for the rest of his life.

“This forfeiture is designed to make certain that if SBF ever makes money, it goes not to him but to the government and the victims,” Mitchell Epner, a former federal prosecutor, told CNN. “He will never be able to accumulate funds in his life, and forfeiture cannot be eliminated through bankruptcy.”

The court has some discretion in determining forfeiture amounts, but they’re largely based on how much money a defendant is found to have earned in the course of their crimes, not how much they can reasonably be expected to pay.

RELATED: Sam Bankman-Fried’s parents ‘heartbroken’ for ’empathetic’ son who wanted to ‘do good on a large scale’

In their sentencing memorandum earlier this month, federal prosecutors laid out their reasoning for seeking $11 billion in forfeiture. They said $8 billion represents how much Bankman-Fried made from “wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud on FTX’s customers, and the property involved in his conspiracy to launder the proceeds.” Another $1.72 billion represents the amount FTX raised from investors on false pretenses, and $1.3 billion accounts for the money that Bankman-Fried’s cryptocurrency trading firm owed lenders, prosecutors said.

Do victims get compensation?

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