Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried and his attorney did not respond to the Senate Banking Committee's demand that he testify or otherwise cooperate with an investigation into his failed corporate empire.
“Sam Bankman-Fried’s counsel did not respond by the stated deadline. We believe it’s important that Bankman-Fried show he is willing to provide transparency and accountability to the American people by providing testimony,” the committee's leaders, Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., said in a statement issued late Thursday. “We will continue to work on having him appear before Congress as detailed in Wednesday’s letter.”
That letter threatens Bankman-Fried with a congressional subpoena if he doesn't cooperate, with the pair setting a deadline of 5 p.m. EST today. The Banking Committee scheduled a hearing on the topic for next Wednesday.
A spokesperson for Bankman-Fried declined to comment when reached by The Block earlier.
The embattled crypto mogul has given several media interviews since the collapse of his company, detailing his version of the story, but punted on an earlier invitation from the House Financial Services Committee, saying he wanted to wait until he has, "finished learning and reviewing what happened," to the companies he ran and owns.
Congressional subpoenas for testimony are a rare last resort, partially due to complications of enforcing them. In the event that he does not respond to one, a contempt of Congress charge would go through the Justice Department, which already is investigating FTX's collapse.
The current Congress also will end soon, with newly elected and freshly re-elected lawmakers beginning a new one next month. However, Brown will retain his chairmanship of the Senate committee into the new Congress in January, giving him continued control over the committee's investigation into FTX and Bankman-Fried.
Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., is the presumptive replacement as the committee's top Republican, a position commonly referred to as ranking member. Toomey will retire at the end of this Congress.
With additional reporting by Colin Wilhelm.
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