(Bloomberg) -- Former Celsius Network Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Alex Mashinsky said he was comfortable using the same lawyers as FTX founder Samuel Bankman-Fried to defend him against charges that he pumped up the price of his firm’s cryptocurrency.

Mashinsky, who was charged with wire fraud and other crimes last year, told a federal judge on Tuesday that he was willing to waive any potential conflicts of interest that might be related to Marc Mukasey and Torrey Young’s dual representation of the two former crypto moguls. The two lawyers were hired by Bankman-Fried last month to represent him at sentencing following his conviction for stealing customers funds for investments, trading and real estate.

“We can’t foresee the future,” Mashinsky said at the court hearing in Manhattan. “I assume that his sentencing will be completed before my trial but it may not be.”

Mashinsky was charged after Celsius became one of several high-profile crypto collapses in 2022, about four months before FTX. Prosecutors said Mashinsky made false and misleading statements about the health of his company before it filed for bankruptcy.

Prosecutors had asked US District Judge John Koeltl to hold a hearing to advise Mashinsky of his right to counsel without competing interests. The government said that Mashinsky has partially blamed Celsius’s collapse on actions taken by Alameda Research, a hedge fund linked to FTX, and that the lawyers’ use of some records could be limited.

Prosecutors also said talks that Bankman-Fried had about buying Celsius before its bankruptcy and replacing Mashinsky as CEO could cause conflicts. But the government said the issues aren’t so severe that they can’t be waived.

Mashinsky said that he is “making a big investment of time and money” in his lawyers and understands the potential conflict of interest, even though he doesn’t think one exists. 

While Mashinsky said he had consulted with an independent attorney regarding his rights, Koeltl briefly adjourned today’s hearing so that he could speak with a lawyer appointed under the Criminal Justice Act to represent defendants on potential counsel conflicts.

Bankman-Fried is scheduled to appear before US District Judge Lewis Kaplan tomorrow for a similar hearing. He faces decades in prison at sentencing on March 28.

Mashinsky’s trial, originally set for September, was moved to Jan. 28 on Tuesday following a request from the parties.

The case is US v Mashinsky, 23-cr-347, US District Court, Southern District of New York.


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