Editors Note: After the publication of this story, Waters denied the initial reporting from CNBC, claiming that Bankman-Fried being subpoenaed is “definitely on the table.”
House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters reportedly informed a private group of Democrats that she does not plan to subpoena Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced former CEO of FTX, after the company’s collapse.
CNBC reported that Waters, who currently chairs the committee until January, when she will have to give the power over to the Republicans in control, said to a Democrat in a private Tuesday meeting on Capitol Hill that she does not plan tp subpoena the disgraced former CEO.
Walters not wanting to subpoena Bankman-Fried comes less than a week before the committee has a hearing. Those present at the meeting told CNBC that the Democrat chair wants the committee staff to convince Bankman-Fried to testify voluntarily, although he has yet to do so.
As Breitbart New’s Sean Moran wrote on Sunday, Bankman-Fried dodged Waters’ call to testify voluntarily via Twitter. After Waters said on Twitter, “…we would welcome your participation in our hearing on the 13th,” Bankman-Fried responded two days later, claiming he is still “learning and reviewing” what led to the company’s collapse and cannot testify before the committee.
The disgraced former CEO wrote, “Rep. Waters, and the House Committee on Financial Services: Once I have finished learning and reviewing what happened, I would feel like it was my duty to appear before the committee and explain. I’m not sure that will happen by the 13th. But when it does, I will testify.”
Bankman-Fried — who has donated, along with his cofounder, over $300,000 to nine lawmakers who are now investigating the company for wrongdoing — has come under scrutiny by federal investigators and lawmakers on Capitol Hill since the collapse of digital currency exchange FTX, as well as its sister organization, hedge fund Alameda Research. CNBC noted, “company’s crash arrived after FTX reportedly transferred billions of dollars in client funds to Bankman-Fried’s trading firm, Alameda Research.”
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has also requested there be an independent inquiry into FTX regarding fraud allegations after the collapse.
DOJ Trustee Andrew R. Vara said in the agency’s filing: “An examiner could – and should – investigate the substantial and serious allegations of fraud, dishonesty, incompetence, misconduct and mismanagement by the Debtors.”
Breitbart News technology reporter Lucas Nolan explained:
The filing described the collapse of FTX as the “fastest big corporate failure in American history.” According to Vara, there is a strong reason to believe that Bankman-Fried, the former CEO, and other managers, “mismanaged” the company “or engaged in fraudulent conduct.” Bankman-Fried has been replaced as CEO by John Jay Ray III who famously oversaw the bankruptcy of Enron. Vara added that the court should approve the appointment of an independent examiner to investigate the matter further.
After FTX quickly collapsed, lawyers started to wonder if the exchange had engaged in fraudulent activity by misusing customer funds. In court filings, new FTX CEO John Jay Ray III stated that the company had hidden the misappropriation of corporate funds, including the purchase of a property in the Bahamas for employees.
“Never in my career have I seen such a complete failure of corporate controls and such a complete absence of trustworthy financial information as occurred here,” Ray said in the filing.
Breitbart also noted that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, in addition to the attorneys for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), sent requests for information to cryptocurrency investors and trading firms that have worked with FTX.