March 27, 2024
Legal Shift: SBF Hires Fresh Counsel Before Sentencing
Latest Cryptocurrency News

Legal Shift: SBF Hires Fresh Counsel Before Sentencing

Former FTX CEO Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried, who was convicted on seven criminal charges in November, has filed notice in federal court announcing his retention of new counsel as he prepares for his sentencing hearing. The filing, made on January 9 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, revealed that Torrey Young and Marc Mukasey of Mukasey Young LLP will represent Bankman-Fried in the legal proceedings.

The legal team representing SBF also submitted a sealed document, hinting at the possibility of an appeal to his November conviction. Bankman-Fried resigned as the CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX in November 2022, amid liquidity issues at the firm. Following his departure, FTX filed for bankruptcy, and Bankman-Fried was extradited from the Bahamas to the United States, where he faced charges related to fraud in the handling of funds between FTX and Alameda Research.

After a month-long trial in October 2023, a jury convicted Bankman-Fried on seven criminal counts, including wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy, securities fraud, commodities fraud conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy. His sentencing is scheduled for March 28, presided over by Judge Lewis Kaplan.

The reason behind Bankman-Fried’s decision to retain new counsel before the sentencing hearing remains unclear. However, reports following the trial suggested dissatisfaction among members of his legal team with his performance on the stand. Stanford Law School professor David Mills reportedly commented that Bankman-Fried was “the worst person [he had] ever seen do a cross-examination.”

Initially facing the prospect of a second criminal trial in March with five additional charges, prosecutors have reportedly decided not to proceed with the proceeding, citing public interest. Bankman-Fried, following his conviction, could potentially face years in prison. As the sentencing date approaches, the legal developments surrounding the former FTX CEO continue to draw attention within the cryptocurrency and legal communities.


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