Judge Assigned To FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried’s Case Steps Down

Key Takeaways:

  • Judge Abrams withdraws from the lawsuit involving Sam Bankman-Fried.
  • Davis Polk & Wardwell, a law firm that helped FTX in 2021, has Andres as a partner.

New information about FTX and its former executives is pouring out more often with each passing day. The most recent change that occurred late on Friday included Sam Bankman Fried’s lawsuit.

Due to a conflict of interest, US District Judge Ronnie Abrams stepped down from the SBF litigation. Abrams’ spouse appears to work as a legal consultant for FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange. 

According to a report published earlier, Abrams’ husband, Greg D. Andres, is a former federal prosecutor from Brooklyn who later served as the Justice Department’s deputy assistant attorney general. Andres was a member of the group led by special counsel Robert S. Mueller that looked into Russian election meddling in 2016.

According to Abrams’ disclosure in the decision, the legal firm Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP represented parties that could be hostile to FTX and SBF in prior processes. She clarified further:

“My husband has had no involvement in any of these representations. These matters are confidential and their substance is unknown to the court. Nonetheless, to avoid any possible conflict, or the appearance of one, the court hereby recuses itself from this action.”

A separate judge will be assigned to hear the case. Along with SBF, the individuals involved also include Gary Wang and Caroline Ellison, two other executives who only just pleaded guilty to fraud. At the moment, they are assisting the investigators who are looking into them.

According to reports, Ellison admitted guilt on seven counts, including the conspiracy to commit wire fraud against FTX customers, the actual wire fraud against FTX customers, the actual wire fraud against Alameda Research lenders, and the actual wire fraud committed against Alameda lenders. Ellison also admitted guilt to conspiring to commit money laundering, securities fraud, and a conspiracy to defraud the commodities industry.

However, Gary Wang, the co-founder of FTX, only admitted guilt on four charges. This comprised a conspiracy to conduct securities fraud, a conspiracy to commit commodities fraud, a conspiracy to commit wire fraud against FTX clients, and a conspiracy to commit wire fraud against FTX customers. SBF, on the other hand, was formally granted a $250 million bail and released. Following an eight-day detention at The Bahamas’ Fox Hill prison, he was extradited to the US this week.

Deep Dalal
Deep Dalal

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