- According to Ian McGinley, a partner at Akin Group, the former CEO of Alameda Research and FTX co-founder Gary Wang, are game changers in the ongoing SBF case.
- McGinley has stated that it will be challenging for Sam Bankman’s counsel to overcome two cooperating witnesses.
- Judge Gorenstein grants SBF a bond and sets conditions for the former Chief Executive to comply.
The guilty pleas made by the former CEO of the affiliated hedge fund Alameda Research, Caroline Ellison, and FTX co-founder Gary Wang, are” game-changers” against Sam Bankman-Fried’s ongoing case, according to Ian McGinley, a partner at Akin Group in CoinDesk TV’s “First Mover.”
McGinley noted that “now you have two people- two insiders- who were with him, presumably during all the pivotal moments at stake. In the claim saying, “we conspired with others, presumably SBF, and we did something wrong.”
Early last week, Mr. Wang and Ms. Ellison pleaded guilty to charges relating to securities violations, according to statements from the U.S. prosecutors. Both SBF associates admitted that they were aware of the relationship between Alameda Research, a trading firm that SBF owned, and the alleged mismanagement of customer funds.
McGinley has further stipulated that the associates’ pleas make Sam Bankman’s defense way too challenging, noting that it will be way too hectic for Bankman’s counsel to overcome two cooperating witnesses rather than one.
“When you get two cooperating witnesses, making that case before a jury Is much harder. While the outcome remains to be seen, it is a game changer.”
However, Ellison and Wang are said to cooperate with the investigations in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
The Akin Group Partner has also said Sam Bankman, facing several criminal charges including wire and securities fraud, money laundering, and campaign violations fraud, may not be able to bargain his way out. The prosecutor’s leniency relies on the evidence against someone else. Because SBF was the chief executive, “it is tough to see how he could cooperate,” McGinley stated.
He further noted, “the options here are minimal, though it remains to be seen if the disgraced CEO has any information that could be of value to prosecutors.”
SBF’s Wish was Granted
On December 22, however, SBF was accorded bail by Judge Gorenstein as he thought that SBF wouldn’t flee or be a threat to the public. The former FTX executive was freed on a $250 million bond, which is presumed to be the highest bond presented even before the court hearing.
The judge set out some conditions to be followed by SBF, including home confinement, location monitoring, and surrendering his passport. Additionally, the bail was granted on SBF’s strict pretrial supervision, including mental health therapy and assessment, as his legal team noted that SBF is battling depression and taking prescription drugs.
The now-bankrupt FTX empire filed for bankruptcy in early November after the founder, SBF, ran out of funds to stabilize it. FTX collapse was a major shock to many customers and companies who relied on the industry, leading to much-lacking confidence in the ecosystem. However, the new FTX executive, led by John Ray III, is trying to build the firm once more and restore users’ faith, as they have noted that FTX’s collapse was stimulated by “SBF’s bad reign.”