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Sam Bankman-Fried says he'll testify next week about FTX Collapse

The House Committee on Financial Services will hold the hearing next Tuesday
UNITED STATES - MAY 12: Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of FTX US Derivatives, testifies during the House Agriculture Committee hearing titled Changing Market Roles: The FTX Proposal and Trends in New Clearinghouse Models, in Longworth Building on Thursday, May 12, 2022. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
Tom Williams via Getty Images
Will Shanklin
Will Shanklin|December 9, 2022 2:14 PM

Embattled FTX co-founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried said today that he will testify before Congress next week. After a Twitter back-and-forth with committee chair Rep. Maxine Waters, he agreed to testify about the crypto exchange’s sudden collapse. “I still do not have access to much of my data — professional or personal. So there is a limit to what I will be able to say, and I won’t be as helpful as I’d like,” he tweeted this morning. “But as the committee still thinks it would be useful, I am willing to testify on the 13th.” The House Committee on Financial Services will hold a hearing on Tuesday investigating FTX.

His agreement to testify is an about-face from last week when he tweeted that he only would appear after he finished “learning and reviewing” what led to the company’s rapid downfall. Waters replied, “Based on your role as CEO and your media interviews over the past few weeks, it’s clear to us that the information you have thus far is sufficient for testimony.”

Bankman-Fried's testimony for the House Committee will likely be remote, according to The Wall Street Journal. Leaders of the Senate Banking Committee, holding a separate FTX hearing next week, have threatened to subpoena him if he doesn’t also agree to appear in front of their panel. But that may be tough to enforce since he lives in the Bahamas.

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 30: FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried speaks during the New York Times DealBook Summit in the Appel Room at the Jazz At Lincoln Center on November 30, 2022 in New York City. The New York Times held its first in-person DealBook Summit since the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic with speakers from the worlds of financial services, technology, consumer goods, private investment, venture capital, banking, media, public relations, policy, government, and academia.   (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
Michael M. Santiago via Getty Images

His testimony could include a public showdown with John J. Ray III, FTX’s current CEO overseeing bankruptcy proceedings, who is also testifying Tuesday. Ray hasn’t minced words about Bankman-Fried’s “erratic and misleading public statements” about FTX. “Never in my career have I seen such a complete failure of corporate controls and such a complete absence of trustworthy financial information as occurred here.”

Bankman-Fried resigned last month after Binance backed out of a deal to buy FTX, citing concerns discovered while conducting due diligence. FTX then filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, capping off the collapse. The company currently faces more than 100,000 creditors, but that number could expand to over one million.

Hollywood, never an industry to turn down a high-profile downfall story, quickly pounced. Amazon has already greenlit a limited series about FTX helmed by the Russo brothers.

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Sam Bankman-Fried says he'll testify next week about FTX Collapse