Sam Bankman-Fried, the imprisoned founder of bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX, appeared in court on Wednesday for the first time since his fraud conviction and confirmed that he wanted to move forward with new lawyers despite a potential conflict of interest.
Upon returning to court, he had noticeably lost some weight and his black hair was sprouting again – similar to the first photos seen of him in prison – as he was led into court with his ankles shackled beneath his drab proportioned pants and shirt. through the prison.
In response to the judge’s questions, he acknowledged that he was taking antidepressants and medications to keep his attention focused.
He answered questions casually, at times, saying “no” and “yes” while his right foot quickly tapped the floor beneath the table where he was sitting.
Bankman-Fried, 31, hired defense attorneys Marc Mukasey and Torrey Young in January to represent him until his March 28 sentencing, which could mean a prison sentence of up to 100 years.
Sam Bankman-Fried, the imprisoned founder of bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX, appeared in court on Wednesday for the first time since his fraud conviction and confirmed that he wanted to move forward with new lawyers despite a potential conflict of interest. In the photo: Bankman-Fried in jail on December 17
Bankman-Fried, the imprisoned founder of bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX, takes the oath as he appears in court for the first time since his fraud conviction in November, in a New York courtroom in this sketch.
He could face decades in prison after a Manhattan federal court jury found the former billionaire guilty of stealing billions of dollars from FTX clients.
In a brief hearing before U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan, Bankman-Fried said he felt comfortable hiring Mukasey and Young even though they also represent the founder of bankrupt cryptocurrency lender Celsius Networks, Alex Mashinsky, who is pleaded not guilty to separate fraud charges. .
Kaplan asked Bankman-Fried, who was wearing a tan prison shirt and ankle chains, to describe the potential conflict in her own words.
“At a high level, they also represent Alex Mashinsky,” said the clean-shaven Bankman-Fried, whose curly hair has grown since his month-long trial last year.
Bankman-Fried described Celsius as “a company that the companies I ran had business interactions with.”
Mukasey, a former Manhattan federal prosecutor and son of former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey, was part of former President Donald Trump’s personal legal team.
He also represented the founder of electric and hydrogen truck maker Nikola, Trevor Milton, who was sentenced last year to four years after being found guilty of fraud for lying to investors about the company’s technology, well below expectations. 11 years suggested by prosecutors.
Bankman-Fried told Kaplan that he had consulted with attorneys Mark Cohen and Christian Everdell, who represented him during his trial, about the potential Mukasey conflict.
Upon returning to court, he had noticeably lost some weight and his black hair was growing back. In this court sketch, he is depicted sitting with his attorneys Torrey Young (drawn at left) and Marc Mukasey.
Under the judge’s questions, he acknowledged that he was taking antidepressants and medications to keep his attention focused.
He said he had also discussed it with Alexandra Shapiro, another attorney who will handle his eventual appeal.
Mukasey said Cohen and Everdell will soon ask Kaplan for permission to withdraw from the case.
In a Feb. 6 court filing, prosecutors in Bankman-Fried’s case said her Alameda Research hedge fund used funds stolen from FTX clients to repay money it borrowed from Celsius.
Prosecutors said Bankman-Fried and Mashinsky may have different opinions about whether Celsius was defrauded and entitled to restitution.
Bankman-Fried, detained at the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center since August 2023, said Wednesday that he has been taking antidepressant medication and Adderall, which is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
During her trial, Bankman-Fried’s attorneys said in October that she needed a higher dose of Adderall than what she had been receiving in jail each morning to concentrate.
Mashinsky, 59, waived his right to an attorney without any potential conflict at a hearing Tuesday before U.S. District Judge John Koeltl.
The two attorneys said at that hearing that they could fairly represent both Bankman-Fried and Mashinsky.
Bankman-Fried, 31, hired defense attorneys Marc Mukasey (pictured) and Torrey Young in January to represent him during his March 28 sentencing, which could mean a prison sentence of up to 100 years.
In a brief hearing before U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan, Bankman-Fried said he felt comfortable hiring Mukasey and Young even though they also represent the founder of bankrupt cryptocurrency lender Celsius Networks, Alex Mashinsky (pictured). photo on the left), who pleaded not guilty. to separate fraud charges
Mashinsky is free on bail. His trial on charges of artificially inflating the value of the company’s internal crypto token and making $42 million from the sale of his holdings is scheduled for January 28, 2025.
Bankman-Fried, who was convicted last year of stealing from clients of his now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX, has been photographed in prison for the first time.
The former billionaire, 31, appears in the newly published photo taken at the Metropolitan Detention Center in New York, where he is locked up while awaiting sentence, which could mean 115 years in prison. He is due to be sentenced next month.
The photo, believed to have been taken on December 17, shows Bankman-Fried sporting a beard alongside five other inmates.
Crypto crime reporter Tiffany Fong He originally obtained the image and spoke with an inmate photographed alongside Bankman-Fried.
The inmate, known as G Lock, described Bankman-Fried as “strange as shit” but considered him a “good guy.”
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried leaves Manhattan federal court on June 15, 2023 in New York
G Lock, former member of the band Blood, said: ‘Sam had a belly and ate well. [Now] He’s skinny as a stick.
‘He’s not showering, he’s not doing anything. He didn’t snitch on anyone, Sam is a gangster.
‘Sam is more gangster than Tekashi69, Sam Bankman was on all ten toes. Tekashi snitched.
“He’s a good guy, he really is.” Weird as shit, he can be weird. But he’s a good guy. It is unclear why G Lock had been imprisoned.
Fong added: “He’s obviously lost some weight and I’ve heard he doesn’t shower much.”
“He’s not as clean-shaven as he used to be, but he’s obviously going through a lot right now.”