The FTX drama continues as SBF was seen flying business class, while Judge Ronnie Abrams recused herself from the case!
Judge Ronnie Abrams Recuses From SBF FTX Case!
The FTX drama continues with the shocking announcement by US District Judge Ronnie Abrams over a potential conflict of interest.
The judge’s husband, Greg D. Andres, is a partner at the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, which advised FTX in 2021. Though Andres himself did not personally advise FTX, Abrams chose to recuse herself from the case “to avoid any possible conflict, or the appearance of one.”
The order also stated that Davis Polk & Wardwell previously represented parties “that may be adverse to FTX and Defendant Bankman-Fried,” though Andres allegedly did not represent those clients either.
RONNIE ABRAMS, United States District Judge:
It has come to the Court’s attention that the law firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, at which my husband is a partner, advised FTX in 2021, as well as represented parties that may be adverse to FTX and Defendant Bankman-Fried in other proceedings (or potential proceedings). My husband has had no involvement in any of these representations. These matters are confidential and their substance is unknown to the Court. Nonetheless, to avoid any possible conflict, or the appearance of one, the Court hereby recuses itself from this action. See 28
U.S.C. § 455.
This decision came just one day after Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) was released from custody pending trial on eight criminal charges including wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and violations of federal campaign finance laws.
It is unknown why Judge Ronnie Abrams chose to wait until now to recuse herself from the FTX case. But it should be pointed that it was a different judge – Gabrial Gorenstein, who approved the record-setting $250 million bond that did not require SBF to pay a single cent up front.
A new judge from the Southern District of New York will now have to be selected to oversee Sam Bankman-Fried’s trial.
SBF Free + Flying Business On “No Cash Up Front” FTX Case Bail!
In the meantime, the disgraced FTX co-founder was spotted “chilling” in the American Airlines Greenwich Business Class lounge located at Terminal 8 of the John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York City.
Sam Bankman-Fried was accompanied by his parents, FBI agents and lawyers. He had full access to what looks like an Acer Predator gaming laptop, and a smartphone. When he was asked for a photo, SBF replied, “Haha maybe not today“.
You may recall that, on December 9, SBF claimed that he did not have access to (much of) his professional or personal data, despite having obvious access to a laptop and a mobile phone.
1) I still do not have access to much of my data — professional or personal. So there is a limit to what I will be able to say, and I won’t be as helpful as I’d like. But as the committee still thinks it would be useful, I am willing to testify on the 13th.
SBF was later spotted in the Business class section of an American Airlines flight, “disguised with a beanie”. He appeared to be engaged in conversation with a suited executive.
The suited executive could be his lawyer, Mark Cohen, who may have been accompanying the disgraced FTX co-founder to his parents’ home in Palo Alto, California, where he has to serve his house arrest while awaiting trial.
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