March 27, 2024
Latest Cryptocurrency News

Ex-CEO Sam Bankman-Fried Sticks with New Legal Team Amidst Conflict of Interest Concerns

In a startling turn of events, former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), who faces sentencing on March 28, 2024, has confirmed his decision to retain his new legal representation, Marc Mukasey and Torrey Young. The same attorneys are also defending Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky, leading to concerns about potential conflicts of interest.

During a recent hearing, U.S. Southern District Judge Lewis Kaplan raised the issue of this potential conflict, prompting Bankman-Fried to assert that he had consulted with his current lawyers, Mark Cohen and Christian Everdell, regarding the new appointments. Reuters reports that Cohen and Everdell are expected to seek permission from Judge Kaplan to withdraw from the case.

The crux of the potential conflict revolves around Celsius owing $12.8 million to Alameda Research, as per the bankrupt lender’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. Alameda Research, the sister trading company of SBF’s FTX, played a pivotal role in the unfolding drama. Notably, when Alameda suffered losses from unfavorable trades, SBF/FTX allegedly transferred millions in customer funds, marking what is now considered crypto’s largest-ever fraud.

Bankman-Fried revealed to Judge Kaplan that Mukasey and Young are involved in representing Mashinsky at a high level and that the conduct of both firms is pertinent to both cases. The intertwined financial web further complicates the legal landscape as the fallout from FTX’s collapse continues.

SBF, once touted as one of the youngest multibillionaires, has seen his carefully crafted image crumble. Former FTX executives testified that he misappropriated customer funds, contradicting the facade of an ‘effective altruist’ he presented. A recent prison photo released by crypto influencer Tiffany Fong starkly contrasts with the image of SBF featured in TIME’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Furthermore, FTX investors collectively filed a class action lawsuit against law firm Sullivan and Cromwell, alleging the firm facilitated FTX’s actions in the lead-up to its collapse. The law firm billed FTX $8.5 billion for serving as primary legal counsel during the sixteen months preceding the downfall.

As the legal saga unfolds, Bankman-Fried’s sentencing date looms, marking a crucial chapter in the aftermath of the spectacular collapse of his crypto empire.

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