Representative Maxine Waters, Chair of the House Financial Services Committee, has issued a statement following Sam Bankman-Fried’s arrest in the Bahamas. As was reported earlier, Bankman-Fried was taken into custody by Bahamian authorities following the revelation of an indictment by the US Department of Justice. Expectations are for Bankman-Fried to be extradited to the US following a formal request by the US.
Tomorrow (December 13, 2022), Bankman-Fried was scheduled to testify in front of the House Financial Services Committee. His incarceration means he will not be able to act as a witness on the bankruptcy of FTX, the crypto exchange he founded.
Chair Waters, while welcoming Bankman-Fried being held accountable for his actions, lamented the decision of the authorities to arrest Bankman-Fried on the day before 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. However, as the public knows, my staff and I have been working diligently for the past month to secure Mr. Bankman-Fried’s testimony before our Committee tomorrow morning. We received confirmation this afternoon from Mr. Bankman-Fried and his lawyers that he was still planning to appear before the Committee tomorrow, but then he was arrested.
“Although Mr. Bankman-Fried must be held accountable, the American public deserves to hear directly from Mr. Bankman-Fried about the actions that’ve 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. While I am disappointed that we will not be able to hear from Mr. Bankman-Fried tomorrow, we remain committed to getting to the bottom of what happened, and the Committee looks forward to beginning our investigation by hearing from Mr. John Ray III tomorrow.”
The arrest of Bankman-Fried has been anticipated by many following details of the collapse of FTX, an event that Bankman-Fried has been attempting to describe as mismanagement as opposed to criminal activity.
The US Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York is expected to release further details on the indictment tomorrow morning.