- Fenwick & West, the former counsel for FTX, is implicated in a class-action lawsuit for allegedly abetting a multi-billion-dollar fraud scheme.
- The entities, “North Dimension” and “North Wireless Dimension”, were purportedly utilized to divert FTX customer funds.
Law Firm’s Deepening Involvement in FTX Scandal
FTX, once a giant in the crypto industry, has left behind a trail of controversies, and its former primary counsel, Fenwick & West LLP, is now at the epicenter of this storm. A recent class-action lawsuit filed in a California District Court points a finger at the law firm, suggesting that its involvement was more than just legal counsel.
According to the Aug. 7th filings, a group of FTX customers alleges that Fenwick & West created several “shadowy entities”, specifically named as North Dimension and North Wireless Dimension. The purpose? To allow FTX’s co-founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, along with other top brass, to employ questionable strategies that, although innovative, bordered on illegality, eventually leading to fraud.
The narrative gets darker with claims that Fenwick & West’s assistance to FTX wasn’t confined to just typical legal services. The suit suggests that the firm also had a hand in devising FTX US’s acquisition structures to evade regulatory watchdogs and even went so far as to provide manpower to see through these strategies.
The gravity of the situation is further underscored by the alleged flow of misappropriated funds. These “shadowy entities” reportedly served as conduits to funnel and divert FTX customer money.
But where was the oversight? According to the plaintiffs, the law firm wasn’t just a passive observer. Fenwick & West, they argue, was complicit by turning a blind eye to what seems to be a series of misleading statements FTX presented to its client base.
It’s worth noting that behind this alleged cooperation between FTX US and its affiliates, and Fenwick & West, lay a financial motive. The lawsuit states that the firm stood to make monetary gains from FTX’s controversial activities.
This isn’t the first time Fenwick & West has been under scrutiny in relation to FTX. Another class-action suit filed in February also portrayed the firm as a key player in Bankman-Fried’s suspect business framework. That suit went even further by implicating FTX investor and venture capital powerhouse, Sequoia Capital, suggesting their core involvement in the scandal.
The ripple effects of this saga saw FTX crumble, culminating in its bankruptcy declaration in November 2022 due to an inability to manage a flurry of customer withdrawals. Meanwhile, Sam Bankman-Fried, currently confined under house arrest, is staring down the barrel with charges ranging from wire fraud to conspiracy and money laundering, with two impending criminal trials on the horizon.
With the legal noose tightening, Fenwick & West has sought the expertise of peer firm Gibson Dunn for representation. However, as of now, there’s been no official statement from Fenwick & West regarding the allegations.