The House hearing scheduled for Tuesday morning to probe the billion-dollar collapse of the FTX cryptocurrency trade platform will proceed without the testimony of founder and ex-CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, who was arrested overnight in the Bahamas on fraud allegations at the direction of federal prosecutors.
"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," Committee Chairwoman Rep. Maxine Waters said late Monday after his arrest. "The Committee looks forward to beginning our investigation.
The California Democrat also said new FTX CEO John Ray III will still testify as planned.
Bankman-Fried was supposed to testify remotely from his residence in the Bahamas.
Recent news reports stating the FTX platform was in financial trouble resulted in investors rushing with get back their money, which resulted in the platform collapsing in September.
At least $1 billion of customer funds are missing from the collapsed exchange, according to multiple news reports.
Bankman-Fried is charged with eight counts including wire fraud, money laundering and violating campaign finance laws, according to the Associated Press.
"It’s about time the process to bring Mr. Bankman-Fried to justice has begun," Waters also said Monday night. "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."