Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY), a member of the House Financial Services Committee, said on Monday that if disgraced former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried can do a “media rehabilitation tour,” then he can testify in front of the committee.
Barr released his statement after Bankman-Fried dodged House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters’s (D-CA) call to testify during the committee’s December 13 hearing.
“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 said, dodging Waters’s request to have him testify.
Barr lashed out at Bankman-Fried, contending that if he has time to can do a media rehabilitation tour with “Good Morning America” and the New York Times, then he can testify about what led to the collapse of digital currency exchange FTX, as well as its sister organization, hedge fund Alameda Research.
If you can do a media rehabilitation tour on @GMA and @NYT, then you should be able to testify in front of the people’s House. This doesn’t have to be the last hearing and it likely won’t be. I should be seeing you at the hearing next Tuesday. @FinancialCmte https://t.co/87KnVRW6nn
— Rep. Andy Barr (@RepAndyBarr) December 5, 2022
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has requested an independent probe into FTX fraud allegations.
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.
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.”
“I unknowingly commingled funds. […] I was frankly surprised by how big Alameda’s position was, which points to another failure of oversight on my part and failure to appoint someone to be chiefly in charge of that,” Bankman-Fried told New York Times journalist Andrew Sorkin.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and attorneys for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have sent requests for information to cryptocurrency investors and trading firms that have worked with FTX.
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.
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