Michigan Representative Bill Huizenga, who chairs The Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the United States House of Representatives, has drawn the attention of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for failing to present the proper documents in relation to the timing of the charges and the arrest of the ex- CEO of FTX Sam Bankman-Fried.
At a June 22 hearing on SEC oversight, Rep. Huizenga said that “100% of the documents” the commission had provided on SBF’s charges and detention were publicly available, suggesting an inadequate response to the congressional commission. The lawmaker criticized the SEC for missing a February 24 deadline to file documents that allegedly raised “serious questions about the SEC’s process and cooperation with the Department of Justice” in connection with the charges and SBF’s arrest.
Rep. Huizenga suggested that the documents provided by the SEC included little more than public reports on “how the SEC and the Department of Justice worked together” in the SBF case.. Megan Barbero, general counsel for the SEC, countered that the submission of those documents to the commission was easier, since they “do not require a vote of the commission,” while others were a “significant process and undertaking.”
“Am I now supposed to send all of our SEC investigations to the Department of Justice?” asked Rep. Huizenga.
Tune in pic.twitter.com/9qC69GLfVp
— Financial Services GOP (@FinancialCmte) June 22, 2023
Although not always along the same lines of questioning as Rep. Huizenga, other lawmakers have invoked FTX and Bankman-Fried when discussing SEC oversight. Texas Rep. Pete Sessions asked for details about an alleged meeting between Gary Gensler and SBF, alleging that the SEC chairman had “personal access” to the former FTX CEO. Texas Rep. Al Green called for regulation of cryptocurrency companies like FTX, which “destroyed investors’ dreams with ignoble schemes,” and also requested that Gensler testify.
The SEC’s investigation stemmed from Bankman-Fried’s appearance before the House Financial Services Committee on December 13. He was based in the Bahamas at the time FTX filed for bankruptcy in November 2022 and the criminal investigation into his alleged misconduct was ongoing. Before Bankman-Fried could testify in Congress, he was detained in the Bahamas and later extradited to the United States.
Authorities are planning two criminal trials for Bankman-Fried for 8 criminal counts and 5 counts scheduled for October 2023 and March 2024, respectively. The SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission also filed separate civil lawsuits against SBF, but those cases have been adjourned until criminal proceedings have been completed.
This is a developing story, and more information will be added as it becomes available.
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