Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried will not testify in front of a House committee on Tuesday after he was arrested in the Bahamas on Monday, according to the chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee.
Chairwoman Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) confirmed the news in a statement Monday night, claiming she was surprised to hear of his arrest but that the committee would continue to try and get answers on the collapse of the FTX cryptoexchange through FTX’s current CEO John Ray III during the hearing.
“I am surprised to hear that Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas at the direction of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. It’s about time the process to bring Mr. Bankman-Fried to justice has begun,” Waters said in a statement. “Although Mr. Bankman-Fried must be held accountable, the American public deserves to hear directly from Mr. Bankman-Fried about the actions that have harmed over one million people, and wiped out the hard-earned life savings of so many. The public has been waiting eagerly to get these answers under oath before Congress, and the timing of this arrest denies the public this opportunity.”
Waters added that Bankman-Fried’s lawyers confirmed that the crypto mogul was planning to testify on Tuesday, before his arrest. Testimony from Bankman-Fried was also being sought by the Senate Banking Committee. However, the former CEO refused to testify in front of the Senate committee, senators said Monday.
Bankman-Fried’s arrest was first reported by the attorney general of the Bahamas and confirmed by the U.S. attorney from the southern district of New York based on a sealed indictment.
The indictment is expected to be unsealed Tuesday morning, and the crypto mogul is expected to be charged with “wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy, securities fraud, securities fraud conspiracy and money laundering,” according to the New York Times.
The collapse and bankruptcy of FTX last month prompted investigations from the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Justice, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, as well as the House Financial Services and Senate Banking committees.