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According to Ian McGinley, a partner at Akin Gump, the testimony of the two FTX insiders, Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang, could be a “game changer” in the trial of FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried.
McGinley believes the guilty pleas by FTX co-founder Gary Wang and former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison may be the final nails they need to drive home the multiple criminal charges against Bankman-Fried.
Speaking about Ellison and Wang, the Akin Gump partner said:
“Now you have two people – two insiders – who were with him, presumably during all of the pivotal moments at stake in the case saying ‘We conspired with others, presumably Sam Bankman-Fried, and we intentionally did something wrong.’”
In the past week, both Ellison and Wang put in a guilty plea to charges related to the collapse of the FTX exchange. Also, they admitted they were aware of the questionable relationship between the change and Alameda Research.
McGinley believes that the case against Bankman-Fried has just become significantly more challenging for the defense counsel as two cooperating witnesses are rather overwhelming.
“When you get two cooperating witnesses, it’s much harder to make that case before a jury,” McGinley said, emphasizing again that while the outcome remains to be seen, “it is very much a game changer.”
According to reports, both Ellison and Wang are cooperating with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.