On Wednesday, Sam Bankman-Fried’s spokesperson Mark Botnick confirmed that the former CEO of FTX has hired Mark Cohen as a defense attorney to represent him. The New York based lawyer has been part of the team that defended high profile persons including disgraced British socialite and convicted sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell, in the past.
Reuters was the first to report the hiring of the high profile white collar crime defense attorney. David Mills, who is a professor at Stanford Law School, will be a consultant. However Mills has not as yet confirmed that he would be consulting. SBF’s father who is also a professor at Stanford has reportedly canceled classes to help his son’s defense.
According to Reuters, Caroline Ellison, head of FTX’s trading affiliate, Alameda Research has hired Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr as her representative, according to a source familiar with the matter. However, neither the Washington-based law firm nor Ellison confirmed the news to the outlet.
Although SBF has not been charged with any federal crimes, Manhattan federal prosecutors have begun investigations into the sudden collapse of FTX, which was once the second largest crypto exchange. At least $1 billion funds of customers of FTX have disappeared.
Two sources with knowledge of the request, also told Reuters that U.S. authorities are requesting information about FTX from investors as well as potential investors, including communications. This was also reported by Bloomberg.
Sources and attorneys, on the condition of anonymity, said that the authorities might be looking for evidence that shows that information might have been misrepresented to investors.
Earlier, Reuters had reported that customer funds were secretly transferred to Alameda Research as it faced a shortfall of funds.
Earlier, the Wall Street Journal reported that Ellison and senior FTX executives were aware that the crypto exchange was using customer fund to assist Alameda with its liabilities.
Sam Bankman-Fried and a host of celebrity stars are facing a civil suit by investors and FTX customers as they are being held responsible for the $11 billion loss.
The names including celebrities listed in the filing are as follows:
Golden State Warriors
William Trevor Lawrence
Lawrence Gene David and
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