Numerous Big Law Firms Had Zero Ties to Sam Bankman-Fried; So Why Did John Ray Hire Two Deeply Conflicted Law Firms?

John J. Ray III (Thumbnail)

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 27, 2023 ~ A battle between Big Law firm Sullivan & Cromwell and the U.S. Trustee (who represents the U.S. Department of Justice in the bankruptcy proceedings) is heating up for a hearing scheduled for February 6. The hearing will take arguments for and against why Sullivan & Cromwell should not be allowed to investigate its own past conduct in the serial frauds that prosecutors have alleged occurred at Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto companies. Since the FTX bankruptcy filing on November 11, Sullivan & Cromwell has been functioning as lead counsel for the bankruptcy estate and was officially appointed to that position by the court on January 20, despite what looks like fatal conflicts to a growing number of observers. Both Sullivan & Cromwell and the U.S. Trustee have filed interrogatories to take discovery from each other prior to the hearing, according to court documents. … Continue reading

Serious New Issues Emerge in Sullivan & Cromwell’s Deeply Conflicted Role in the FTX Bankruptcy Case

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 26, 2023 ~ We don’t know what kind of legal kryptonite the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law is bestowing on its graduates but one young alumnus appears to be fearless about whom he takes on. Marshal Hoda, the young attorney from a one-man office in Houston, who is representing two customers of the collapsed FTX crypto exchange, tested out his super powers in a January 20 hearing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. Hoda is pitched against the 900-attorney Big Law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell in one of the most closely-watched (and bizarrely conflicted) bankruptcy cases in U.S. history. Co-counsel with Hoda for the two customers are John D. McLaughlin, Jr. of Ferry Joseph, P.A. and Patrick Yarborough of Foster Yarborough, PLLC. During the hearing, Hoda admonished Sullivan & Cromwell with this: “When you find yourself in a hole, stop … Continue reading

A Federal Agency Wants to Hear Directly from the Public about Bad Practices at Credit Card Companies

Wall Street Bank Logos

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 25, 2023 ~ Yesterday, the federal watchdog agency – the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) – announced that it wants to hear directly from the public on credit card practices. But since “the public” also includes all of the folks that are paid to carry water for the credit card industry, the voice of the average Joe and Jane is highly likely to be overwhelmed by industry sycophants, as is typically the case. Thus, we are asking our readers to give this matter some careful thought, as we outline below, and if you are so inclined, send your comments to the good folks at the CFPB using this link they have set up. The public has until April 24, 2023 to submit comments but we ask that you do so promptly. Topic 1: The Same Banks that Were Bailed Out by the U.S. Taxpayers in … Continue reading

The U.S. Congress Twiddled Its Thumbs on Crypto while 10 Countries Banned It and 42 Others Placed Heavy Restrictions

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 24, 2023 ~ On January 31 of last year, Oliver Sullivan reported at Lawyer Monthly that the growing list of countries “that wholly banned cryptocurrencies includes China, Egypt, Iraq, Qatar, Oman, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Bangladesh and (as of this month) Kosovo. Forty-two others have passed restrictions to this effect, prohibiting crypto exchanges or limiting the ability of banks to engage with crypto.” Compare that to the United States, which increasingly looks like a financial backwater, with questionable crypto deposits blowing up federally-insured banks; collapsing publicly-listed crypto mining stocks whose business model is to pump more fossil fuels into the atmosphere in order to solve complex mathematical problems that have no productive purpose; $8 billion in customer funds going missing at the FTX crypto exchange which was promoted by media darlings on television; and, of course, Big Law firms getting fat at the crypto bankruptcy … Continue reading

Bankruptcy Judge in Manhattan Rules that Crypto Customers Lost Ownership of $4.2 Billion When They Deposited It into “Earn” Accounts

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 23, 2023 ~ Customers of bankrupt crypto platforms who have been locked out of withdrawing from their accounts for months, are learning the hard way that U.S. bankruptcy court judges in New York and Delaware have little sympathy for their plight. Instead, there has been an uncanny propensity to side with big corporate law firms like Kirkland & Ellis and Sullivan & Cromwell. A December 11, 2019 report from the Congressional Research Service cited a study that found that “60% of large business debtors filed for bankruptcy” in just two venues – the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware and the Southern District of New York – despite the fact that the businesses did not maintain their principal place of business there. The report further notes that “when debtors have substantial flexibility to choose the jurisdiction in which they file for bankruptcy, … Continue reading

FTX Bombshell: Former FTX Lawyer, Daniel Friedberg, Alleges Fraud by Sullivan & Cromwell in Court Filing Today

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 19, 2023 ~ Daniel Friedberg, a former attorney at the collapsed crypto exchange, FTX, has filed a heart-stopping declaration today with the U.S. bankruptcy court in Delaware. He is effectively accusing one of the oldest law firms in America, Sullivan & Cromwell (S&C), of engaging in a fraudulent scheme in the FTX bankruptcy case. Friedberg further alleges that this fraudulent conspiracy was helped from the inside of FTX by S&C’s former law partner, Ryne Miller. According to new management at FTX, at least $8 billion of customer funds are missing, with the bulk of the money illegally diverted for use by Alameda Research, a hedge fund owned by the former co-founder and CEO of FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, who has pleaded not-guilty to 8 criminal felony counts brought by the U.S. Department of Justice. Two of his top lieutenants, Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang, have … Continue reading

In 16 Years, the Fed Has Approved 4,506 Bank Mergers and Denied One

Jerome Powell (Thumbnail)

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 19, 2023 ~ On Tuesday, Jerome Powell’s Federal Reserve once again thumbed its nose at President Biden’s antitrust directive regarding the creation of more mega banks through merger. This time around, the Fed allowed the Bank of Montreal, with assets of $834 billion, and its subsidiary, BMO Financial, to gobble up Bank of the West, based in San Francisco. Following the merger, Bank of the West is to be merged into Bank of Montreal’s subsidiary bank, BMO Harris Bank. On Friday, July 9, 2021, President Biden released a sweeping Executive Order that warned federal bank regulators against actions that create “excessive market concentration” with specific mention of bank merger activity. One business day later, the Federal Reserve announced that it had approved another bank merger. According to the Fed’s own data, since January 1, 2006, it has approved 4,506 bank mergers, while denying one application. (See … Continue reading

Four Crypto-Friendly Banks Are Being Bailed Out with Billions from a Federal Housing Program

Bubbles

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 18, 2023 ~ Remember those Fed bailouts of the mega banks on Wall Street during and after the 2008 financial crisis that the Federal Reserve battled in court for years to keep secret from the American people? Those bailouts went to the same Wall Street mega banks that collapsed the U.S. economy with their unbridled greed and unchecked corruption. The banks were even allowed to pay big bonuses to their execs with the bailout funds. When Senator Bernie Sanders forced the bailout details into the sunlight with a mandated government audit, the findings were so revolting that Senator Sanders had this to say: “As a result of this audit, we now know that the Federal Reserve provided more than $16 trillion in total financial assistance to some of the largest financial institutions and corporations in the United States and throughout the world. This is … Continue reading

A Sam Bankman-Fried Company Loaned or Invested More than $1 Billion in Clients of its Law Firm, Sullivan & Cromwell

Sam Bankman-Fried

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 17, 2023 ~ In a January 12 Substack column penned by Sam Bankman-Fried, the indicted co-founder and former CEO of collapsed crypto exchange, FTX, he writes that “When I would visit NYC, I would sometimes work out of S&C’s office.” S&C is shorthand for the 144-year old Big Law firm, Sullivan & Cromwell, which has come under withering media attention for attempting to steamroll its way into the position of lead counsel in the FTX bankruptcy proceedings – including investigating its own conduct as outside counsel to Sam Bankman-Fried and his byzantine collection of crypto companies. Wall Street On Parade has been covering the mushrooming conflicts of interest held by Sullivan & Cromwell since two days after FTX (and its herd of more than 100 related companies) filed their Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition on November 11. Today, we will shine an even brighter light … Continue reading

The Narrative Is that Two Women Under 30 Committed Fraud without Detection by Sophisticated Wall Street Law Firms

Caroline Ellison and Charlie Javice (Thumbnail)

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 13, 2023 ~ Women have been demanding equal opportunity on Wall Street for the past 60 years. We’re pretty sure that equal opportunity to commit crimes on a par with the big boys on Wall Street is not what they had in mind. Confronting women on Wall Street today are two especially disheartening cases. In the photo on the left above is Caroline Ellison, who looks more like the wholesome star of a Disney children’s flick than a woman who has pled guilty to seven criminal counts for frauds she committed as CEO of Sam Bankman-Fried’s hedge fund, Alameda Research. On the right in the photo above is Charlie Javice, founder and former CEO of Frank, a company that was hyped in a JPMorgan Chase press release when it acquired it in September of 2021 for $175 million as “the fastest growing college financial … Continue reading