FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has reportedly tapped a key member of convicted sex offender Ghislaine Maxwell’s legal team to represent him after his cryptocurrency empire collapsed.
Bankman-Fried hired Mark S. Cohen, managing partner and co-founder of the New York law firm Cohen & Gresser. This was reported by ReutersBased on the news of Mark Botnik, the press secretary of the former head of FTX.
Cohen, a former assistant U.S. attorney, was part of the team that defended Maxwell, the longtime partner of the late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. In June, Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in prison for helping Epstein molest underage girls.
In an appearance on Twitter Spaces on Tuesday, Bankman-Fried said Cohen’s hiring was “on the advice of advisors and people who can understand the situation and the context.” Bloomberg.
It’s unclear how Bankman-Fried plans to pay for a high-profile attorney like Cohen as it builds its legal team. The FTX founder’s net worth went from $16 billion to zero within days of FTX’s failure.
Bankman-Fried claims she’s down to her last $100,000 and recently said she doesn’t know how she’ll pay for her lawyers.
“That’s what I’m trying to figure out right now,” Bankman-Fried said last week at the next Twitter Spaces appearance.
Bankman-Fried can turn to her family for legal advice. His parents, Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, are both law professors at Stanford University. He is also reportedly being advised by another prominent attorney and Stanford professor, David W. Mills.
Although Bankman-Fried has not yet been charged with any crime, the disgraced former billionaire faces legal and regulatory scrutiny over his role in the FTX breakup.
Federal prosecutors are reportedly already investigating the circumstances that led to the company’s collapse and what happened to the billions of dollars that disappeared from its balance sheet.
In November, Bankman-Fried was named alongside famous FTX backers, including NFL legend Tom Brady and Curb Your Enthusiasm star Larry David, in a lawsuit on behalf of cryptocurrency investors who lost money on the platform.
Bankman-Fried is also drawing attention from members of Congress. Earlier this week, he promised to testify before the House Financial Services Committee about FTX’s bankruptcy — though he didn’t set a specific date.