FTX Founder and Democrat Super Donor Sam Bankman-Fried’s Lawyers Previously Represented Ghislaine Maxwell, ‘El Chapo’
Disgraced FTX founder and Democrat super donor Sam Bankman-Fried is reportedly being represented by lawyers who have previously defended Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell and infamous drug lord “El Chapo.”
The Wall Street Journal reports that as the legal team for FTX founder and Democrat super donor Sam Bankman-Fried begins their defense against one of the most significant white-collar prosecutions in recent history, they are turning to a pair of attorneys known for their expertise in high-profile cases. Mark Cohen and Christian Everdell, former federal prosecutors who are now partners at the New York-based boutique firm Cohen & Gresser, have earned a reputation for their roll-up-their-sleeves style and unrelenting approach to building a defense.
Bankman-Fried is facing charges of fraud, conspiracy, money laundering, and campaign finance violations after the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office accused him of stealing billions of dollars from FTX customers and misleading investors and lenders connected to his crypto-trading firm Alameda Research. He pleaded not guilty last week.
The swiftness of the charges and the emergence of cooperating witnesses have led some legal experts to suggest that this will be an uphill battle for Bankman-Fried’s defense team. However, Cohen and Everdell have a history of tackling difficult cases head-on. Both attorneys have previously worked on high-profile cases, including those involving drug lord El Chapo and disgraced socialite Ghislaine Maxwell.
Cohen and Everdell were referred to by Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, who had been advising Bankman-Fried before the federal charges but could not continue representing him due to a conflict of interest. Since then, the attorneys have already navigated their client through a complicated extradition process from the Bahamas, where Bankman-Fried had been arrested at the request of the U.S. Justice Department. They also secured his transfer to U.S. custody and negotiated his pretrial release under a $250 million bond.
The legal team is now tasked with combing through vast amounts of technical discovery, including documents relating to FTX investors, debtors, and political campaigns. Cohen and Everdell’s experience as former federal prosecutors and their firm’s reputation for attracting able lawyers makes them well-equipped for this challenge.
As the legal proceedings continue, Bankman-Fried has stated that he intends to help customers recover their money. However, some legal experts have pointed out that this could conflict with his own defense