Sam Bankman-Fried’s Court Appearance: What You Need to Know

SBF Sticks with New Lawyers Despite Conflict of Interest

Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), the founder of the defunct crypto exchange FTX, appeared in court on February 21 to address a potential conflict of interest involving his new lawyers.

SBF confirmed that he would stick with his new lawyers, Marc Mukasey and Torrey Young, despite the conflict. The prosecution had requested a hearing to ensure that SBF was aware of the conflict and was knowingly waiving his right to conflict-free representation.

Possible Conflict of Interest

Mukasey and Young also represent Alex Mashinsky, the former CEO of bankrupt crypto lender Celsius. The prosecution noted that there is a possible conflict of interest due to the relationship between Bankman-Fried’s Alameda Research and Mashinsky’s Celsius.

Celsius had lent money to Alameda Research, and Alameda Research used FTX’s customer funds to repay some of these loans. Mashinsky has also blamed Alameda Research and SBF for contributing to Celsius’ collapse.

SBF’s Appeal Plans

During the hearing, SBF mentioned that he had consulted with Alexandra Shapiro, the lawyer who will handle his appeal. This suggests that SBF intends to appeal his conviction.

Prosecution’s View on the Conflict of Interest

The prosecution noted that the possible conflict of interest is not severe and can be waived. Mashinsky, who is currently out on bail, is also expected to have a hearing where he must waive his right to conflict-free representation.