FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried seeks to involve FTX’s current leadership and its legal representatives at Sullivan & Cromwell in the criminal case against him, claiming their extensive cooperation with the government. This move could significantly impact his defense strategy and bring new complications to the case.
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, who faces multiple charges including fraud and money laundering, has intensified his fight against the law firm Sullivan & Cromwell.
In a recent court filing, he requested that the court consider FTX’s current leadership and the exchange’s attorneys at Sullivan & Cromwell as part of the prosecution team, claiming that their cooperation with authorities has been extensive.
Sullivan & Cromwell role in FTX’s legal matters
The well-known Wall Street law firm, Sullivan & Cromwell, had a history of representing FTX in transactions and regulatory matters before the exchange’s collapse.
The firm had received court approval to advise FTX during its bankruptcy, overcoming objections from certain FTX creditors and U.S. lawmakers who alleged a conflict of interest due to its past work.
Bankman-Fried had previously criticized Sullivan & Cromwell, accusing it of expediting FTX’s bankruptcy and downplaying its earlier work for the exchange. However, the law firm refutes these allegations.
The potential impact on SBF’s defense
The recent filing in a Manhattan federal court suggests that Bankman-Fried intends to focus on Sullivan & Cromwell and FTX’s current CEO, John Ray, as part of his defense strategy.
FTX and the Sullivan & Cromwell team have accused Bankman-Fried of overseeing a severe lack of internal corporate controls, asserting that their collaboration with authorities was essential in securing a swift indictment against him and guilty pleas from other FTX executives.
If the judge approves Bankman-Fried’s request to include them in the prosecution, they must disclose any relevant documents, including evidence that could support Bankman-Fried’s defense.
This obligation usually applies only to prosecutors. Bankman-Fried’s defense team contends that Ray and FTX bankruptcy attorneys have acted as “public mouthpieces” for the prosecution, providing selectively incriminating information about Bankman-Fried.