Caroline Ellison hires former SEC crypto regulator as lawyer for FTX probe: Bloomberg

Quick Take

  • Caroline Ellison hired a former crypto regulator at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to represent her in an ongoing federal probe, Bloomberg News reported.
  • Stephanie Avakian, a former SEC enforcement division chief and current partner at WilmerHale, will represent the former Alameda Research head, along with other lawyers at the firm.

Former Alameda Research head Caroline Ellison hired a former crypto regulator at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to represent her in an ongoing federal probe into the collapse of the FTX exchange, Bloomberg News reported, citing sources.

Stephanie Avakian, a former SEC enforcement division chief and current partner at WilmerHale, will represent Ellison, along with other lawyers at the firm. Bloomberg said a spokesperson for the law firm declined to comment.

"As the former Director of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement, Stephanie Avakian is well positioned to help clients address the enforcement, governance and compliance issues presented by today’s markets," the firm's website states. "Matters under Ms. Avakian’s direction concerned a wide range of issues including insider trading, financial fraud and disclosure violations, auditor and accounting issues, market structure, asset management, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act."

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Ellison has so far maintained a low profile in the wake of the collapse of Alameda and sister exchange FTX, despite having an active online persona before the company's public troubles snowballed last month. Ellison’s father, Glenn Ellison, runs the economics department at MIT, the same university where SEC Chair Gary Gensler has taught.

Disclaimer: Beginning in 2021, Michael McCaffrey, the former CEO and majority owner of The Block, took a series of loans from founder and former FTX and Alameda CEO Sam Bankman-Fried. McCaffrey resigned from the company in December 2022 after failing