The defense for disgraced FTX boss Sam Bankman-Fried is being paid from money the former billionaire gifted his father in 2021.
Bankman-Fried reportedly gave his father a $10 million tax-free gift that the Stanford law professor uses to bankroll his son’s legal defense.
Sam Bankman-Fried’s Legal Defense Comes With a Hefty Price Tag
Mark Cohen and Christian Everdell, whose legal fees one source estimates to be in the “single-digit millions,” are representing Bankman-Fried. David Mills, a colleague of Bankman, is also offering free legal counsel to the disgraced billionaire.
His lawyers petitioned the Delaware chancery court hearing FTX’s bankruptcy case to use FTX insurance to cover Bankman-Fried’s legal costs.
The former FTX CEO has been accused of lending FTX customer funds to Alameda Research since 2019.
He faces thirteen criminal charges in the U.S., including money laundering fraud and campaign finance law violations. Yesterday, prosecutors filed a revised indictment, accusing the former CEO of bribing Chinese officials to unfreeze Alameda trading accounts.
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission recently sued Binance, whose CEO’s tweet arguably catalyzed the downfall of FTX and Bankman-Fried’s arrest, for offering unregistered derivatives to U.S. customers. The CFTC also accused Binance of promoting tools for U.S. customers to circumvent geographical restrictions that prevented them from trading on Binance.
New Report Reveals Binance Links to China
The CFTC suit brings full circle the feud between Binance and CEO Changpeng Zhao Zhao and Bankman-Fried.
After the exchange collapsed last year, Sam Bankman-Fried indicated in a tweet that Zhao had succeeded in toppling FTX, which, at the time, was the world’s third-largest crypto exchange. Zhao later denied the claims.
However, Bankman-Fried lobbied aggressively to bring the crypto industry under the CFTC, the agency which has now sued Binance.
Unlike Bankman-Fried, however, Binance faces civil and not criminal charges.
A March 29 report by the Financial Times revealed that Binance and Zhao still maintained ties to China despite Binance’s 2017 relocation. Zhao was born in China but later emigrated to Canada with his parents.
Binance told workers in 2018 that they would receive remuneration through a bank in Shanghai.
Binance spokespeople denied the report as a mischaracterization of events. It said that no government, including the Chinese, could access data beyond that which is necessary for legal reasons.
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