In connection with the ongoing investigation into the catastrophic failure of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX and its trading firm Alameda Research, the ex-CEO of Alameda, Caroline Ellison, has reached out to a former official of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to represent as her lawyer.
Lawyer A Top Crypto Cop?
Stephanie Avakian, a former enforcement division chief at the SEC, was also in charge of many of the agency’s most high-profile cryptocurrency prosecutions during her tenure over there.
Before joining the Washington DC-based law firm, WilmerHale, in 2020 — Stephanie served as the enforcement director for the SEC for a total of four years, during which she also served as the deputy director.
She shared the role of director with Steve Peikin, who is currently representing FTX in its bankruptcy proceedings. During their time in office, the regulatory body increased the amount of enforcement activity inside the cryptocurrency industry.
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As reported earlier on CoinGape, FTX’s bankruptcy team, Congress, regulators and prosecutors from Manhattan are investigating charges that billions of dollars in customer funds deposited at the exchange ended up being traded by Alameda, which is a Hong Kong-based sibling trading firm of the now defunct FTX empire.
Stephanie’s Earlier Cases
One of the cases that Stephanie reviewed earlier was that of Ripple Labs, a blockchain startup whose founders were charged with fraudulently generating $1.3 billion through the sale of unregistered securities backed by digital assets. The legality of crypto assets as securities is still up for discussion in the wake of the 2020 SEC lawsuit.
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Apart from the cryptocurrency sector, Stephanie was in charge of overseeing enforcement actions taken against General Electric, Robinhood Markets, and Elon Musk, the new owner of Twitter.
A Deal In The Making?
Sam Bankman-Fried, who founded FTX and served as its previous chief executive officer, has pointed the finger of blame at Alameda in multiple interviews with the media.
In contrast, Ellison has maintained her silence thus far, lending credence to the notion that she may be negotiating a cooperation agreement with the relevant authorities.
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The post Alameda’s Ex-CEO Caroline Ellison Hires Former SEC Official As Lawyer In FTX Probe appeared first on CoinGape.