House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters, D-Calif., says she’s “disappointed” and “surprised” at the timing of Sam Bankman-Fried’s arrest, due to his scheduled appearance before her committee tomorrow.
“It’s about time the process to bring Mr. Bankman-Fried to justice has begun,” said Waters in a statement released in reaction to Bankman-Fried’s arrest. “However, as the public knows, my staff and I have been working diligently for the past month to secure Mr. Bankman-Fried’s testimony before our Committee tomorrow morning.”
The California Democrat went on to criticize the timing of the arrest, which unusually comes on the eve of Bankman-Fried’s testimony about the collapse before Congress.
“Although Mr. Bankman-Fried must be held accountable, the American public deserves to hear directly from Mr. Bankman-Fried about the actions that’ve harmed over one million people, and wiped out the hard-earned life savings of so many,” the statement from Waters continued. “The public has been waiting eagerly to get these answers under oath before Congress, and the timing of this arrest denies the public this opportunity.”
Bahamian police arrested Bankman-Fried earlier tonight in anticipation of indictment by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and extradition back to the United States. The federal prosecutor’s office will announce its charges tomorrow — likely multiple counts of alleged fraud — while Securities and Exchange Commission Enforcement Division Director Gurbir Grewal said in a statement that the regulator will jointly announce its own charges relating to securities laws against the failed crypto mogul.
The Financial Services Committee will still hear from current FTX CEO John Ray III tomorrow about his view on the company’s collapse. In written remarks that will begin his testimony, Ray details how FTX US did not actually operate separately from the main corporate entity, potentially violating law and refuting Bankman-Fried’s position that the U.S. affiliate did not need to be entered into the bankruptcy process. The committee is also expected to touch on other digital asset topics, including Binance’s role in the implosion and the broader state of industry.
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