Alex Mashinsky wants to continue retaining SBF’s defense lawyers for his trial

Alex Mashinsky wants to continue retaining SBF’s defense lawyers for his trial

Celsius co-founder and ex-CEO Alex Mashinsky intends to rely on the same lawyers used by former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) to defend him against the criminal charges filed by the Department of Justice’s Southern District of New York (SDNY) in July 2023, Bloomberg News reported on Feb. 20.

Prosecutors have asked Judge John Koeltl to advise Mashinsky of his right to counsel without competing interest. Mashinsky reportedly understands the possibility of conflicts of interest but does not believe any issue exists. He is also willing to waive any conflict of interest.

One possible issue is that Mashinsky’s criminal trial could overlap with Bankman-Fried’s sentencing dates. Mashinsky reportedly said:

“We can’t foresee the future … I assume that [Bankman-Fried’s] sentencing will be completed before my trial but it may not be.”

Mashinsky’s trial is scheduled for Jan. 28, while Bankman-Fried is set to be sentenced on March 28. He is also expected to appear in court for a conflict of interest hearing on Feb. 21.


If Mashinsky obtains his desired legal team, he will be represented by Marc Mukasey and Torrey Young from Mukasey and Young LLP. Though Mashinsky’s reason for relying on this team is unknown, he called the lawyers a “big investment of time and money” during the latest hearing.

Other conflicts of interest may exist.

Government prosecutors suggested that conflicts of interest may exist due to the relationship between Mashinsky’s Celsius and Bankman-Fried’s FTX before each firm’s collapse.

One concern is that Celsius had financial arrangements with FTX’s sister firm, Alameda Research. Celsius notably identified Alameda Research as a $13 million creditor in its bankruptcy case.

According to government prosecutors, Mashinsky has stated that Alameda’s actions contributed to the collapse of Celsius — something that has clear implications for each accused’s role in either collapse.

Another issue is that FTX considered buying Celsius between the firm’s June 2022 withdrawal freeze and July 2022 bankruptcy. FTX abandoned that plan by the end of June, though Bankman-Fried considered possibly bidding on Celsius’ assets in October 2022.

The post Alex Mashinsky wants to continue retaining SBF’s defense lawyers for his trial appeared first on CryptoSlate.

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