Disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has vowed to testify before Congress about the cryptocurrency platform’s downfall — even as late Ponzi scheme attorney Bernie Madoff advised him to keep his mouth shut.
Bankman-Fried’s promise to appear on Capitol Hill comes as the 30-year-old former billionaire embarks on a media apology tour — one in which he has tried to distance himself from the scandal, even as he still owes investors billions. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) called the former FTX CEO to testify on Dec. 13.
“Once I have completed my research and review of what happened, I feel it is my duty to come before the committee and explain,” Bankman-Fried tweeted Sunday. â€œI am not sure if it will be the 13th. When it is, I will testify.”
Despite legal pressure and intense public criticism, Bankman-Fried has given interviews in recent days to the New York Times, Bloomberg, ABC’s “Good Morning America” and others.
Bankman-Fried, who attended the New York Times’ DealBook Summit, admitted that she spoke to the media against the advice of her legal team.
Ira Sorkin, the disgraced Madoff’s lead attorney, Bankman-Fried is making a mistake by speaking out in the press.
â€œItâ€™s the first order of business: donâ€™t talk.â€ Sorkin told Bloomberg On Friday. â€œYou don’t want to mislead the public. The only ones who listen to you are regulators and prosecutors.”
â€œSometimes clients think they are smarter than their lawyers. This guy is 30 years old and he’s not smarter than his lawyers,” Sorkin added. â€œThey have to tell him to shut up every five minutes, but sometimes the customers donâ€™t listen.â€
According to Bloomberg, lawyers have suggested that Bankman-Fried “could try this grand malpractice defense” to explain what went wrong with FTX.
Reuters reported that Alameda Research, a sister cryptocurrency trading firm Bankman-Fried owns, secretly transferred $10 billion in FTX client funds to cover losses. At least $1 billion of those customer funds are still missing.
Bankman-Fried has faced intense scrutiny over her public remarks since the FTX breach.
Just last week, Bankman-Fried strangely claimed to have miscalculated FTX’s funds on the eve of the cryptocurrency platform’s collapse – telling Bloomberg that he was “lazy at this mental math” regarding FTX. ™ balance.
Bankman-Fried also sidestepped the question of possible jail time in an interview with “Good Morning America,” citing her mishandling of FTX client funds and Madoff’s alleged theft of investors. rejected the comparison between the infamous scheme.
“If you look at the classic story of Bernie Madoff, there was no real business,” Bankman-Fried said. “As I understand it, it was all one big Ponzi scheme. FTX, it was a real business.â€