February 4, 2023

Filipino Guardian

Sentinels of Filipino Free Press

US House Speaker says she will subpoena FTX’s Bankman-Fried if necessary

Sam Bankman-Fried, founder and former chief executive officer of now-bankrupt crypto exchange FTX. — WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters told Reuters Thursday that she is prepared to subpoena FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried if he does not agree to appear before the panel next week and is working to do so best to do.

“We have made it clear that we want Sam at our December 13 hearing. If he doesn’t cooperate, then we’re prepared to serve a subpoena,” Ms. Waters said in an interview at the US Capitol.

Regulators around the world, including in the Bahamas, where FTX is based, and in the United States are investigating the role of FTX’s top executives, including Mr. Bankman-Fried, in the company’s stunning collapse, Reuters previously reported. The crypto exchange filed for bankruptcy last month after a liquidity crisis that saw at least $1 billion in customer funds disappear.

Prosecutors and regulators have not charged Mr. Bankman-Fried with any crime. Read the full story

Mr. Bankman-Fried missed a Thursday night deadline to respond to a request from the Senate Banking Committee to testify at a hearing, raising the possibility of a subpoena, Axios reported.

Ms. Waters said she has the authority to issue a subpoena herself but can submit it to a vote in committee, adding that she will first work out the process with Rep. Patrick McHenry, the Republican lawmaker, who will chair the panel will when his party takes control of the House in January.

She said no decision had been made yet. “I really could do it myself. We would probably vote,” she said. “I need to check with Mr. McHenry how we’re going to do it. But we will issue a subpoena.”

“Either he does it or he doesn’t. And then we make our decision,” said Ms. Waters. “It’s only fair and right and makes sense to say we want you here.”

She declined to say whether Mr Bankman-Fried would have to appear in person or testify via video link.

A spokesman for Mr Bankman-Fried declined to comment. McHenry’s office was not immediately available for comment. – Reuters