Judge Ronnie Abrams withdrew her participation in the case after it was revealed that her husband's law firm, Davis Polk & Wardwell, had advised FTX in 2021.
In a filing, Judge Abrams stated that the law firm had also represented parties that may be adverse to FTX and SBF in other legal proceedings. However, she clarified that her husband had no involvement in these representations and that the matters were unknown to the District Court due to confidentiality. Judge Abrams' withdrawal from the case ensures that there is no conflict of interest in the proceedings.
Former FTX CEO Released on $250 Million Bail Bond
Samuel Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of FTX, was granted a personal recognition bail of $250 million on December 22. This means that Bankman-Fried was released from prison without having to make any payment as long as he promised to attend future court appearances and not engage in illegal activity. The bail was secured using collateral from the property of Bankman-Fried's parents, a relative, and a family friend. A large amount of the bail had raised questions, as Bankman-Fried had previously stated that he had less than $100,000 in assets when he filed for bankruptcy.
Background on Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX
Sam Bankman-Fried is the former CEO of FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange involved in various legal proceedings. Bankman-Fried has previously claimed to possess less than $100,000 but was released on a $250 million bail bond in December 2021. The bail bond was based on a written promise to appear for future court appearances and not engage in illegal activity. It was approved against collateral property owned by Bankman-Fried's parents, a relative, and a family friend.
FTX is a Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange that was founded in 2019. It has grown rapidly in recent years and has become one of the largest exchanges in the world. The company has faced legal issues in the past, including a class action lawsuit in 2021 over its futures contracts.
In December 2021, District Judge Ronnie Abrams recused herself from the legal proceedings involving FTX and Bankman-Fried due to a conflict of interest. Judge Abrams' husband is a partner at a law firm that had advised FTX in 2021 and may have represented parties adverse to FTX and Bankman-Fried in other legal proceedings.
Davis Polk & Wardwell's Involvement in the FTX Case
Davis Polk & Wardwell is a law firm that has been involved in the legal proceedings involving FTX and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried. The firm advised FTX in 2021 and may have represented parties adverse to FTX and Bankman-Fried in other legal proceedings. Greg Andres, the husband of District Judge Ronnie Abrams, is a partner at Davis Polk & Wardwell and has been employed there since June 2019.
Judge Abrams recused herself from the FTX case due to a potential conflict of interest, as Andres continues to work at the firm. Prior to working at Davis Polk & Wardwell, Andres was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, where he oversaw criminal fraud prosecutions and foreign bribery investigations.