After attention focused on former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison, a report indicates that Ellison has hired Wilmerhale partner Stephanie Avakian, a lawyer who worked for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The news follows leaked documents about Caroline Ellison’s alleged margin position, and the fact that the former Alameda executive was reportedly spotted at a Soho coffee shop.
A former Alameda Research executive is reportedly represented by a former SEC official.
Most recently, FTX co-founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) stated that he was “ready to testify” on December 13, 2022 before the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee. In the meantime, the media and members of the crypto community have focused on the whereabouts of former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison.
BREAKING: CEO of Alameda Research, Caroline Ellison has fled from Hong Kong to Dubai.
– whalechart.org 🐳 (@WhaleChart) November 26, 2022
The former Alameda executive has remained silent since the collapse of FTX and has been assumed to be in Hong Kong. Speculators have also reported on November 26 that Ellison had allegedly left Hong Kong and fled to Dubai, but these reports have not been verified. More recently, an FTX insider shared an alleged Ellison-related document that showed a negative FTX margin balance of about $1.3 billion in May 2022.
Additionally, a Twitter account called Autism Capital tweeted that Ellison was allegedly spotted at a Manhattan coffee shop with Gopher, the FTX team’s office dog. This weekend, Bloomberg reported that sources say Stephanie Avakian, a partner at the law firm Wilmerhale, is representing the former Alameda CEO.
“Stephanie Avakian, former head of the enforcement division at the Securities and Exchange Commission, is representing Ellison along with other lawyers at her firm, according to people familiar with the matter“, wrote Bloomberg’s Ava Benny-Morrison on December 10, 2022.
The news follows detailed reports that SBF has retained attorney Mark Cohen, the lawyer who represented Ghislaine Maxwell in her recent sexual harassment case. SBF’s new attorney was revealed by SBF spokesman Mark Botnick. As for Ellison’s alleged lawyer, Avakian, the attorney became a partner at the Wilmerhale law firm in 2020. The lawyer has been involved in high-profile legal matters associated with Tesla’s Elon Musk, Ripple Labs and General Electric.
According to Bloomberg and the New York Post, representatives of the Wilmerhale law firm have not commented on reports of Caroline Ellison’s ostensible representation. If the reports about SBF’s and Ellison’s alleged legal representations are true, the two have managed to retain two prestigious and extremely expensive lawyers to defend them.