Caroline Ellison, the former CEO of Alameda Research, turned to Stephanie Avikian to organize her defense. She is known for having held senior positions at the SEC, and has worked on several cases closely affecting the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
Caroline Ellison turns to WilmerHale law firm
Caroline Ellison was the head of Alamada Research, the investment firm whose state of accounting brought down the entire FTX empire. To defend himself in court, the former CEO of the company hired the services of a former Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) executive : Stephanie Avakian.
The latter worked there from 1995 to 1999, then again from 2014 to 2020. During her last post, she was Head of Law Enforcement Division. Today, she is chair of the securities and financial services department at the law firm WilmerHale, where she also worked between 2000 and 2014.
Thereby, he is a reference personality in his field, whose services Caroline Ellison offers herself. The time therefore seems to be looking for lawyers, while we learned last week that Sam Bankman-Fried would be defended by Mark Cohen.
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Stéphanie Avakian and the cryptocurrency ecosystem
If the name of Stéphanie Avakian may seem foreign to cryptocurrencies, it is not. And for good reason, it was she who notably supervised one of the cases between the SEC and Ripple Labsregarding a $1.3 billion unregistered securities offering.
On the other hand, she was also on the file for the cancellation of the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) of Telegram in October 2019. At the same time, she also worked on the condemnation of the EOS ICOwhich led Block.one, the company behind the project, to pay a penalty of $24 million.
Stéphanie Avakian is therefore well aware cases involving crypto players in the US justice. The particularity this time is that by working for Caroline Ellison, she places herself on the side of the defense rather than the prosecution, which contrasts with her previous feats of arms. It now remains to be seen whether or not this will be profitable to his new client.
👉 Also in the news – Sam Bankman-Fried: “I was definitely not as competent as I thought”
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