Two members of the United States House Financial Services Committee, Representatives McHenry and Huizenga, have called out Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler regarding the timing of the charges filed against FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried.
Former FTX CEO’s scheduled appearance at hearing
In a notice dated February 10, the lawmakers said that the timing of Bankman-Fried’s charges and arrest in the Bahamas raised serious questions about the SEC’s process and cooperation with the Department of Justice.
Bankman-Fried was scheduled to testify before a House Financial Services Committee hearing on December 13, 2022, exploring the collapse of the crypto exchange FTX.
However, the former CEO was arrested in the Bahamas, in accordance with an extradition agreement with the United States. The Department of Justice charged Bankman-Fried with eight criminal counts, including wire fraud, while the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission have filed separate civil suits against him.
SEC Chair faces additional scrutiny
SEC Chair Gary Gensler is facing additional scrutiny following the agency’s announcement of a settlement with Kraken, in which the exchange agreed to stop offering staking services or programs to U.S. clients. The House GOP has called on Gensler to provide records and communications from the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, his office, and between the agency and the Justice Department related to SBF’s charges from November 2 to February 9, no later than February 23. With Bankman-Fried’s absence, FTX CEO John Ray was the sole witness at the December committee hearing, while the Senate Banking Committee also probed FTX’s “bubble burst” in its own hearing on December 14.
Additional hearing on “crypto crash”
The Senate Banking Committee has scheduled an additional hearing on the “crypto crash” of 2022, to occur on February 14.
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As the investigation into the arrest and charges against FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried continues, US lawmakers remain determined to uncover the truth behind the SEC’s process and cooperation with the Justice Department. The outcome of this inquiry will have far-reaching consequences for the crypto industry and beyond.