Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced former CEO of FTX, agreed on Friday to testify before the House Financial Services Committee under threat of a subpoena after a week of dodging.
“I still do not have access to much of my data — professional or personal. So there is a limit to what I will be able to say, and I won’t be as helpful as I’d like. But as the committee still thinks it would be useful, I am willing to testify on the 13th,” Bankman-Fried wrote.
“I will try to be helpful during the hearing, and to shed what light I can on: –FTX US’s solvency and American customers –Pathways that could return value to users internationally –What I think led to the crash –My own failings,” he added.
“I had thought of myself as a model CEO, who wouldn’t become lazy or disconnected. Which made it that much more destructive when I did. I’m sorry. Hopefully people can learn from the difference between who I was and who I could have been,” Bankman-Fried continued.
3) I had thought of myself as a model CEO, who wouldn't become lazy or disconnected.
Which made it that much more destructive when I did.
I'm sorry. Hopefully people can learn from the difference between who I was and who I could have been.
— SBF (@SBF_FTX) December 9, 2022
Bankman-Fried agreed to testify one week after House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters (D-CA) first asked him to testify before the committee regarding the collapse of the digital currency exchange FTX.
Since Waters’ initial request, Bankman-Fried has dodged, saying he would need more time to learn and review what happened. Now that he has agreed to testify, he said he may not be very helpful, as he does not have a lot of personal and professional data.
Bankman-Fried agreed to testify only after Waters said a subpoena for the disgraced former CEO was “definitely on the table.”
The Department of Justice has requested an independent investigation into allegations of FTX fraud.
DOJ Trustee Andrew R. Vara wrote 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 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.
During Bankman-Fried’s apology tour, he claimed to have made significant mistakes that led to the loss of customers’ funds and the collapse of FTX, but has denied any “improper use” of customer funds, as he said on Good Morning America.
Sean Moran is a policy reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.