Home Blockchain Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried Retains New Counsel, Files Notice in Federal Court Ahead of Sentencing

Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried Retains New Counsel, Files Notice in Federal Court Ahead of Sentencing

Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried Retains New Counsel, Files Notice in Federal Court Ahead of Sentencing

Sam Bankman-FriedSam Bankman-Fried
Source: A Video Screenshot, YouTube / CBS News

Former FTX CEO Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried has informed the federal court that he has retained new counsel ahead of his sentencing hearing for seven criminal charges. Additionally, SBF’s legal team submitted a sealed document indicating the possibility of considering an appeal to his November conviction.

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 from Mukasey Young LLP are now representing Bankman-Fried.

Sam Bankman-Fried, who is facing potential decades in prison after being convicted of orchestrating a multibillion-dollar fraud, has brought in Marc Mukaseyy, a former federal prosecutor.

Defendants often bring in new lawyers ahead of sentencing to provide fresh perspectives on the case. Marc Mukasey, who has not commented, has a track record of defending white-collar cases, including representing individuals involved in financial market manipulation cases and high-profile corporate figures.

Mukasey previously represented Nikola founder Trevor Milton, who received a four-year prison sentence, considerably less than the 11 years sought by prosecutors. While Bankman-Fried may find hope in Milton’s more lenient sentence, the nature and scale of his fraud are more extensive, making his case more complex and potentially carrying more severe consequences.

Mukasey’s father, Michael Mukasey, is a former judge in the Southern District of New York, where Judge Kaplan presides. Marc Mukasey has also been involved in representing former President Donald Trump’s company in a criminal case brought against it by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance.

Sam Bankman-Fried, Former FTX CEO, Shuffles Legal Team Ahead of Sentencing

Bankman-Fried, aged 31, was convicted late last year for stealing billions of dollars of customer funds, diverting them into venture investments, trading, loans, and real estate through FTX-sister hedge fund Alameda Research.

Notably, Bankman-Fried is reshuffling his legal team following a contentious trial where he and his lawyers clashed with Judge Lewis Kaplan. The judge will determine Bankman-Fried’s sentence, and he had expressed frustration with the defendant even before the trial.

Sam Bankman-Fried’s decision to retain new counsel before his sentencing hearing is unclear, with reports suggesting that members of his legal team were dissatisfied with his performance on the stand during the trial. Stanford Law School professor David Mills has criticized SBF as “the worst person [he had] ever seen do a cross-examination.”

On November 3, Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, was found guilty of all seven fraud charges by a jury in his criminal trial. The jury reached its verdict after over four hours of deliberations.

The charges included two counts of wire fraud, two counts of wire fraud conspiracy, one count of securities fraud, one count of commodities fraud conspiracy, and one count of money laundering conspiracy.

Bankman-Fried’s request for a four- to six-week adjournment on his sentencing hearing was declined by Judge Lewis Kaplan. The judge did not allow any changes to the schedule, noting that the defense did not object to the sentencing date when it was set.

Bankman-Fried had already received one extension for filing sentencing submissions. His sentencing date is scheduled for March 28, 2024.

However, in December 2023, United States prosecutors reportedly dropped a second trial against Sam Bankman-Fried following the public interest in quickly resolving the trial, particularly as victims await compensation details for their FTX accounts after its collapse in November 2022.

Prosecutors argue that there wouldn’t be enough new evidence for a second trial, as most evidence was already revealed during the initial trial. The court can consider all relevant conduct when sentencing him for the counts found guilty in the initial trial.

The former FTX CEO could be looking at years in prison following his conviction.

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