Disgraced FTX ex-CEO SBF was planning to blame everyone else except himself in a leaked testimony intended for a Congress hearing.
Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) reportedly planned to blame everyone, but himself, for FTX’s insolvency crisis and subsequent collapse. According to a leaked Congress testimony, the embattled former FTX CEO took aim at current CEO John Ray III, his legal counsel, the bankruptcy firm he appointed, and Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao. However, despite apportioning all-around blame, SBF did not admit any wrongdoing on his part.
The disgraced former CEO’s planned testimony came to public knowledge amid his arrest in the Bahamas Monday at the US government’s request.
SBF Also Puts Blame FTX Successor & Binance as Liable for Crypto Exchange Implosion
Bankman-Fried said he contacted Ray multiple times to offer his ‘insightful’ assistance towards FTX’s bankruptcy proceedings. However, the former crypto wunderkind alleged that Ray and his team snubbed his efforts to help. In addition, SBF stated that Ray’s refusal to communicate with him has resulted in misinformation about the exchange’s operational affairs. The ex-CEO also lamented putting himself in a position to be at Ray’s mercy. He added that the insolvency professional’s assumption of the CEO role jeopardized American customers. SBF stated:
“When John Ray became CEO of FTX US on November 10th, 2022, FTX US was still operational and still processing customer withdrawals. I intended and expected for withdrawals to remain open, making all customers whole. I am surprised that did not happen.”
On Zhao and Binance, SBF’s planned Congress testimony alleged that Binance misled FTX into thinking a rescue buyout was on the table. According to SBF, FTX could not consider buyout offers from other potential suitors due to a letter of intent he signed for Binance. As he put it:
“During that time, I received serious expressions of interest from multiple potential investors who represented billions in capital that could have gone to customers. I was inhibited in responding by the LOI.”
Eventually, Bankman-Fried opined that Binance’s interest turned out to be a hoax and resulted in sustained negative PR for FTX. Stating that he learned of Binance’s ultimate decision to abandon the acquisition on Twitter, SBF concluded that the exchange never intended to buy FTX.
Bankruptcy Firm Sullivan & Cromwell also Draws SBF Blame
Bankman-Fried also did not hold back from apportioning blame to bankruptcy law firm Sullivan & Cromwell for how it handled events after the collapse. The disgraced former CEO alleged that Sullivan & Cromwell pressured him into filing Chapter 11 documents against his wishes. SBF had also planned to show Congress “screenshot” evidence of the relentless pressure he faced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy quickly. He also claimed that this evidence implicated FTX US general counsel Ryne Miller who attempted to exploit his and FTX’s predicament.
SBF Arrested in Bahamas, Expected to Face US Criminal Charges
SBF was arrested by Bahamian authorities late Monday afternoon after prosecutors in the US filed criminal charges against him. Before his arrest, he had planned to testify remotely before the US House Financial Services Committee.
Bankman-Fried’s arrest confirms the fate many had expected him to meet since FTX collapsed early last month. The former CEO’s arrest is the first concrete move by regulators to hold him accountable for the exchange’s failure.
Following SBF’s apprehension, many now expect him also to face extradition to the US.
When he’s not neck-deep in crypto stories, Tolu enjoys music, loves to sing and is an avid movie lover.