Sam Bankman-Fried to testify as lawmakers demand answers on FTX’s downfall
Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried will appear before Congress to testify about the collapse of the giant $32 billion cryptocurrency exchange.
The House Financial Services Committee said Bankman-Fried will testify Tuesday, Dec. 13, in a hearing titled “Investigating the Collapse of FTX, Part 1.”
John Ray, FTX’s new CEO, guiding the company through bankruptcy proceedingswill also testify.
Bankman-Fried said in a series of tweets that he is “willing to testify” after opposing the committee’s request.
“I still don’t have access to a lot of my data – professionally or personally. So there’s a limit to what I’ll be able to say, and I won’t be as helpful as I’d like,” Bankman-Fried wrote. “However, since the committee still believes it would be helpful, I am willing to testify on the 13th.”
MORE: What to know about Sam Bankman-Fried, FTX’s troubled founder
Bankman-Fried said he will try to “shed light” on questions surrounding FTX’s US solvency, what he believes led to the crash and his “own mistakes”.
“I had thought of myself as a model CEO who wouldn’t get lazy or disconnected,” Bankman-Fried tweeted. “Which made it so much more destructive when I did it. I’m sorry. Hopefully people can learn from the difference between who I was and who I could have been.”
Committee Chair Maxine Waters, D-Calif., amid Bankman-Fried’s initial resistance to appearing before the committee, tweeted at him: “As you know, the collapse of FTX has harmed over a million people. Your testimony would not only be meaningful to Members of Congress, but are also critical of the American people.”
Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have said they want to hear from Bankman-Fried after the downfalls of his two companies — FTX and hedge fund Alameda Research — and mismanagement of client funds.
Rep. Patrick McHenry, RN.C., who will chair the committee in the next Congress, said it is “essential that we hold bad actors accountable so that responsible players can leverage technology to build a more inclusive financial system.”
MORE: FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried on crypto giant’s collapse: ‘A lot of people got hurt. And it’s up to me’
Democrat Sherrod Brown, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, has requested that Bankman-Fried appear on Dec. 14 to address “significant unanswered questions” about how customers were treated during the companies’ collapse.
It is unclear whether Bankman-Fried will appear before the committee. Brown, working with Republican ranking member Sen. Pat Toomey that they will issue a subpoena to compel him to appear on December 14th if he did not voluntarily attend.
Brown told Bankman-Fried, “you must be held accountable for the failure of both entities, which was at least in part caused by clear misappropriation of client funds and wiped out billions of dollars owed to over a million creditors.”
Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Sheldon Whitehouse have called for a Justice Department criminal investigation of Bankman-Fried over “the disturbing allegations of fraud and illegal conduct.”
Bankman-Fried denied in an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that he knew “that there was any improper use of client funds.”
“I should have been on top of this and I feel really, really bad and sad that I wasn’t. A lot of people were hurt. And it’s on me,” he said.
—ABC News’ Allison Pecorin and Lauren Peller contributed to this report.
Sam Bankman-Fried to testify as lawmakers demand answers on FTX’s downfall originally appeared on abcnews.go.com