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Sam Bankman-Fried Secures New Legal Team Prior to Sentencing Hearing

2 Mins read
Sam Bankman-Fried Legal Team

Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and former CEO of collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX, has brought on prominent New York defense attorney Marc Mukasey to represent him as he seeks a lenient sentence following his fraud conviction. The move signals Bankman-Fried’s strategy to reshape his legal defense ahead of the crucial sentencing phase of his criminal case.

Following a contentious trial where Bankman-Fried and his initial legal team frequently disagreed with Judge Lewis Kaplan, the 31-year-old has opted to hire Mukasey, an experienced former federal prosecutor. Mukasey brings decades of expertise defending high-profile white-collar defendants. He takes over from some of Bankman-Fried’s original attorneys who represented him during the trial but have since departed the team.

This reshuffling of legal counsel is a common strategy defendants employ after an exhausting trial to bring a fresh perspective before sentencing. While the core trial lawyers Christian Everdell and David Mills remain involved, one attorney who left early described their client as the “worst person they’ve ever seen do a cross-examination.” The move to hire Mukasey indicates Bankman-Fried’s focus is shifting towards mitigating his sentence.

Mukasey’s experience in securing lenient sentences

Sam Bankman-Fried Legal Team

Mukasey will utilize his experience and relationships to Bankman-Fried’s advantage as someone well-connected within New York’s legal circles. He previously represented Nikola founder Trevor Milton, who received a sentence of four years for securities fraud, significantly less than the 11 years sought by prosecutors. Bankman-Fried will hope for a similar outcome.

However, Judge Kaplan expressed frustration with Bankman-Fried before the trial and oversaw his multi-billion-dollar fraud that dwarfed Milton’s crimes. Additionally, as a judge for over 26 years in the same district, Kaplan maintains discretion over the final sentence. Still, Mukasey’s proven ability to negotiate with prosecutors and influence judges could make a meaningful difference.

Looking to the future

Sam Bankman-Fried Legal Team

After a trial where Bankman-Fried’s contradictory testimony damaged his defense, Mukasey must work to rebuild the defendant’s credibility. He will analyze all possible strategies like expressing remorse, cooperating further with ongoing investigations, or requesting electronic confinement. However, given the immense losses inflicted by Bankman-Fried’s deception and misuse of customer funds, a significant prison sentence remains likely.

For now, his best hope involves Mukasey’s skills persuading Judge Kaplan that rehabilitation is possible, though the courts may see fit to make an example of such a brazen fraud. The sentencing scheduled for early 2023 will determine the consequences Bankman-Fried faces and how the legal system responds to the FTX collapse.

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Monique Morgan is a seasoned financial analyst and cryptocurrency expert, well-versed in blockchain technology. With a proven track record of success, she excels in identifying profitable opportunities within the dynamic crypto market. Through her articles, guides, and educational resources, Monique shares her valuable insights and knowledge, empowering traders to make informed decisions. Her keen eye for market patterns allows her to navigate the volatile crypto landscape with confidence, making her a sought-after contributor to the Ailtra platform. Stay tuned for Monique's expert advice and perspectives on the ever-evolving world of cryptocurrencies.
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