SBF arrest under investigation

Two top Republican members of the US House Financial Services Committee are examining the Securities and Exchange Commission’s communications with the Justice Department on the arrest of former FTX Chief Executive Officer Sam Bankman-Fried.

Chairman Patrick McHenry and Representative Bill Huizenga, who leads the panel’s oversight and investigations subcommittee, sent a letter to SEC Chair Gary Gensler on Friday asking him for records related to complaints filed against Bankman-Fried.

The Republicans said they’re looking into the timing of the government’s allegations. They’re also asking for the communications between SEC officials and the Justice Department, among other records.

“The timing of the charges and his arrest raise serious questions about the SEC’s process and cooperation with the Department of Justice,” the lawmakers wrote.

Gensler will respond to lawmakers directly, an agency spokesperson said.

Bankman-Fried was scheduled to testify before the House committee on Dec. 13, but was arrested by Bahamian authorities the night before. Bahamian officials said they made the arrest after they were told by the DOJ that it had filed fraud charges against Bankman-Fried.

On Dec. 12, the SEC’s enforcement director, Gurbir Grewal, said the agency had separately authorized civil charges against Bankman-Fried. John Ray, the current CEO of FTX, ended up testifying without Bankman-Fried in attendance.

Separately. Representative Maxine Waters of California, the top Democrat on the financial services panel asked McHenry in a letter on Friday “to immediately ensure the presence” of Bankman-Fried and former associates before the committee.

“Mr. Bankman-Fried has been extradited to the United States, and he and his colleagues should be questioned before our committee to help with our investigation,” Waters said.

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SBF arrest under investigation