Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried refuses to testify by Senate Banking

Sam Bankman-Fried, founder and chief executive officer of FTX Cryptocurrency Derivatives Exchange, speaks during a Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee hearing in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022.

Sarah Silbiger | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is refusing to testify at a hearing this week about his company’s implosion, the Senate Banking Committee said Monday.

Attorneys for the crypto platform’s founder have also said Bankman-Fried, who is based in the Bahamas, will not accept service of a subpoena to compel his testimony before the panel, senators said.

Bankman-Fried is scheduled to appear at a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Tuesday that will focus on his company’s collapse.

In a joint statement, Senate Banking Chair Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio and ranking member Pat Toomey, R-Pa., said they have “offered Sam Bankman-Fried two different dates for providing testimony before the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, and are willing to accommodate virtual testimonial.”

“He has declined in an unprecedented abdication of accountability,” they said. “Given that Bankman-Fried’s counsel has stated they are unwilling to accept service of a subpoena, we will continue to work to have him appear before the Committee. He owes the American people an explanation,” they said.

Earlier Monday, Bankman-Fried said he is “not currently” scheduled to testify at the hearing. In a Twitter Spaces interview, he also noted that he’s “open and willing” to have a conversation about appearing before the committee.

Brown and Toomey recently threatened in a letter to Bankman-Fried to subpoena him if he “chose not to appear” at the Wednesday hearing.

Bankman-Fried was called to testify in front of the Senate committee after his crypto exchange FTX crashed in a matter of days. Before the company imploded, FTX reportedly transferred billions of dollars in client funds to Bankman-Fried’s trading firm, Alameda Research.

In the letter to Bankman-Fried requesting his testimony, Brown and Toomey wrote that “there are still significant unanswered questions about how client funds were misappropriated, how clients were blocked from withdrawing their own money, and how you orchestrated a cover up.”

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