Sam Bankman-Fried Hires High Profile Lawyer, Hoping to Avoid a Possible 20 Year Sentence
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Once crypto darling now crypto villain FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried is gearing up for a legal fight and has retained high-profile Mark Cohen as his defense attorney to battle allegations of fraud and misappropriation of funds, according to Bloomberg.
Bankman-Fried has not been arrested for any crime, but US and Bahamas investigators said they are probing the events that unfolded involving the ex-billionaire and how he handled customers’ money on the cryptocurrency platform.
Mark Cohen of Cohen and Gresser Law Firm is a former federal prosecutor, and a star-studded white-collar criminal lawyer, who represented American convicted sex offender Ghislaine Maxwell in the high-profile sex trafficking trial involving her connection to sex offender Jefferey Epstein.
Bankman-Fried’s hiring of Cohen could mean investigations are ramping up.
Bankman-Fried has been making media tours in a somewhat repentant manner and has chalked up the downfall to simple accounting mistakes he made because he was not “focused.”
In an interview with Andrew Sorkin of New York Times Deal Book Summit, Bankman-Fried said he was talking against the advice of his lawyers because he had “a duty to explain” himself.
At least one attorney, Martin Flumenbaum of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, has already walked away from Bankman-Fried, citing a conflict of interest.
Bankman-Fried has accepted an invitation to attend a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington before the Finance Committee, to answer questions on the billions of dollars reportedly lost from the once-valued 32 billion dollar exchange, before its collapse.
Legal experts say the 30-year-old could face 20 years in prison if he is convicted.