Because Andres is still a partner at Davis Polk & Wardwell, a law firm that advised FTX in 2021, Judge Abrams’ withdrawal from the FTX case eliminates any conflict of interest.
District Judge Ronnie Abrams withdrew her participation in the ongoing legal proceedings involving former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF). The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York rescued itself from the FTX case after revealing that a law firm advising the crypto exchange in 2021 had Abrams’ husband as a partner.
Judge Abrams revealed in a Dec. 23 filing that her husband, Greg Andres, is a partner at Davis Polk & Wardwell, a law firm where he has worked since June 2019. It was also stated that the law firm had advised FTX in 2021.
Abrams also stated that the law firm represented parties in other legal proceedings who may be adverse to FTX and SBF. “My husband has had no involvement in any of these representations,” she clarified, adding that the District Court is unaware of the matters due to confidentiality.
“However, in order to avoid any potential conflict, or the appearance of one, the Court hereby withdraws from this action.”
Judge Abrams’ withdrawal from the FTX case eliminates any conflict of interest in the FTX case, given that Andres is still a partner at Davis Polk & Wardwell.
Andres previously served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, where he was in charge of criminal fraud prosecutions as well as foreign bribery investigations.
SBF was released on a $250 million bail bond on December 22 in exchange for a written promise to appear in future court appearances and refrain from engaging in illegal activity.
However, the bail raised eyebrows because SBF previously claimed to own less than $100,000 during the bankruptcy filing.
The personal recognizance bail allowed Bankman-Fried to leave prison without having to pay anything. Bail was granted in exchange for collateral property owned by his parents, a relative, and a family friend.