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The House Financial Services Committee is holding a hearing Tuesday morning on the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX following the Monday night arrest of founder Sam Bankman-Fried in the Bahamas.
The Justice Department and Bahamian authorities said Bankman-Fried, who was previously scheduled to testify before the panel, was arrested based on an sealed indictment in the U.S. that the U.S. Attorneys Office for the Southern District of New York plan to publicly release Tuesday.
John J. Ray, the company’s new CEO, is now the panel’s sole witness. The company imploded and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last month after reportedly transferring billions of dollars in FTX customer funds to Bankman-Fried’s hedge fund, Alameda Research.
The Securities and Exchange Commission charged the former crypto “darling” Tuesday morning with allegedly “orchestrating a scheme to defraud equity investors in FTX Trading,” according to the agency.
The Senate Banking Committee had also asked Bankman-Fried to testify at a Wednesday hearing that he previously refused to attend.
Prior to his company’s implosion, Bankman-Fried donated almost $40 million to candidates, campaigns and political action committees in the 2022 congressional midterm elections, with most of his publicly disclosed contributions going toward Democrats. Ryan Salame, the co-CEO of FTX Digital Markets, donated another $23 million, with the majority of his contributions heading toward Republicans.
Nishad Singh, FTX’s director of engineering, has donated over $13 million toward political campaigns since the 2020 election cycle.
The donations and subsequent meetings signified to those on Capitol Hill a lobbying blitz by FTX in an effort to advocate for the larger cryptocurrency