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Crypto executive Caroline Ellison lawyers up as feds mull fraud charges against Bankman-Fried

Formerly a major player in the cryptocurrency industry, FTX suffered a historic collapse earlier this year that has left many asking questions.

Published: December 12, 2022 3:50pm

Updated: December 12, 2022 4:45pm

Caroline Ellison, former CEO of Alameda Research and ex-girlfriend of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, has reportedly hired lawyers ahead of congressional testimony from her former boyfriend and a potential federal indictment of the former cryptocurrency mogul.

Formerly a major player in the cryptocurrency industry, FTX suffered a historic collapse in November that has left many asking questions. Alameda, a hedge fund and sister company of FTX, has become embroiled in a related scandal over the alleged transfer of $10 billion in FTX assets to Alameda amid the former's collapse.

Ellison, meanwhile, has reportedly hired Stephanie Avakian of law firm WilmerHale to represent her amid concerns she could play a major role in any as-yet-unannounced indictments of her former lover, the New York Post reported.

Bankman-Fried has agreed to testify virtually on Tuesday before Congress about the collapse of his digital currency empire. He resides in the Bahamas.

Among the alleged schemes of which he has been accused, Bankman-Fried and FTX allegedly used investor assets to cover debts incurred by Alameda. He has denied any wrongdoing but admitted that the company had minimum risk-management safeguards to prevent the sudden collapse of FTX.

The cryptocurrency exchange filed for bankruptcy in November after investors, fearing for the security of their investments, attempted to withdraw their stakes in the firm simultaneously, leaving FTX unable to fully remunerate its investors.

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