The father’s lawyer, Sam Bankman-Fried, remains – source

By Chris Prentice, Angus Berwick and Luc Cohen

Jan 12 (Reuters) – The father of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried retained a New York lawyer in recent weeks, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters, as lawyers for Bankman- Fried the cryptocurrency scam.

Joseph Bankman, a tax law professor at Stanford Law School, hired Sean Hecker of Kaplan Hecker and Fink LLP, the source said.

Hecker, who focuses on white-collar crime, previously represented a top foreign exchange trader at Barclays accused of a multi-billion-dollar fraud. In a rare move, a federal judge threw out that case as soon as federal prosecutors presented it.

Bankman has advised his son well since Bankman-Fried launched its Alameda Research hedge fund in 2017, according to three former FTX executives. In his later consulting work for FTX, Bankman helped arrange meetings in Washington for his son, the report said.

Bankman is cooperating with prosecutors, the source said, without elaborating. Reuters could not determine what information, if any, Bankman provided to lawyers. A spokesman for Bankman declined to comment for this article. Bankman could not be reached for comment by phone or email.

While it’s unclear whether prosecutors view Bankman as having any personal responsibility for the fraud, the investigation into the case highlights the wide web of individuals involved. in FTX. Bankman-Fried, who was arrested and released on bail, has pleaded not guilty to fraud charges and will appear in court in October.

A DOJ spokesman declined to comment on Bankman.

The Justice Department, Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission filed charges against Bankman-Fried last month. He is accused of funneling billions of dollars into Alameda-based FTX client funds to finance investments, buyouts expensive real estate, and political donations.

He reached a plea deal with prosecutors late last month, in which he was released from prison in exchange for $250 million in cash. was settled against his parents’ property. The agreement required Bankman-Fried to live in prison with Bankman and his mother, Barbara Fried, at their home in Palo Alto, California.

Two other former senior partners, former Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison and former FTX chief technology officer Gary Wang, have both pleaded guilty to defrauding investors and agreed to work together.

Bankman had close ties to Alameda and FTX, former officials said. In 2017, he hired Daniel Friedberg, who became FTX’s top lawyer, one of the people said. Reuters reported last week that Friedberg cooperated with lawyers. He also joined Bankman-Fried in the Bahamas in early November as his son tried to secure emergency funds.

Both Bankman-Fried’s parents, as well as senior officials of the crypto exchange, bought properties in the Bahamas two years ago, Reuters previously reported. At this time, the spokesperson of the couple said that they are trying to return the land to FTX.

Bankman’s spokesperson declined to comment when asked about the status of the property. (Reporting by Angus Berwick in London and Chris Prentice and Luc Cohen in New York; Editing by Megan Davies and Anna Driver)

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