Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren has called on Department of Justice head Attorney General Merrick Garland to launch a thorough criminal investigation into the collapse of the Bahamian exchange FTX.
In a letter penned to Attorney General Garland, senators Elizabeth Warren and Sheldon Whitehouse implored the U.S. DoJ head to launch the investigation to make good on an earlier commitment to help victims of white-collar crime.
Elizabeth Warren asks for justice for FTX victims
The letter pointed to Garland’s commitment at speeches at the American Bar Association’s White Collar Crime National Institute, where he promised a renewed focus on the victims of white-collar crime.
“Given the department’s recent commitment to holding perpetrators of white-collar crime personally accountable, we expect DoJ to investigate the actions leading to the collapse of FTX with the utmost scrutiny,” the letter implored.
The two senators then zeroed in on the middle and working-class FTX investors whose funds are frozen.
“FTX created a false sense of safety and legitimacy and encouraged consumers to pour their hard-earned money into investments on the exchange,” they said.
The letter surmises that FTX employees, including former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, must be held accountable for engaging in fraudulent behavior to enrich themselves at customers’ expense.
“We urge the Department to center these “flesh-and-blood victims” as it investigates, and, if it deems necessary, prosecute the individuals responsible for their harm,” the letter concludes.
Elizabeth Warren joins Mike Novogratz in calling for justice
Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz expressed disbelief that Bankman-Fried is walking around scot-free after violating the agreement between the company he heads and FTX.
“Maybe I’m not a judge or a lawyer, but I read my contract and he certainly did things with our coins that were illegal.When you deposit your crypto or your dollars on his exchange, they’re your coins, and lending them to his family office was not part of the deal… That’s fraud.”
He contrasted the slow legal process with the New York Police Department’s swift arrest of criminals that burgled his apartment.
“And [Bankman-Fried] ‘s running around The Bahamas giving press conferences,” he chafed.
Incidentally, Bankman-Fried is also slated to speak at the 2022 New York DealBook Summit on Nov. 30, 2022, despite FTX facing multiple investigations. His inclusion at the conference has riled crypto industry players.
Bankman-Fried and FTX will also be the subjects of a new eight-episode TV series on Amazon, Variety reports. The production company has not provided a date for the pilot.
“I think that his day will come, Novogratz concluded.”
Elizabeth Warren sheds nepotism label
Senator Elizabeth Warren didn’t initially mention Bankman-Fried after the SEC opened an investigation on Nov. 10, 2022.
BeInCrypto suggested that Warren’s silence on SBF was related to connections she had with his father, Joe Bankman. Bankman endorsed a 2016 tax bill that would simplify tax submission processes for Americans. Additionally, Barbara Fried, Bankman-Fried’s mother, had been a strong supporter of Elizabeth Warren’s Democratic political party. Bankman-Fried had donated $39 million to the party for the 2022 midterm elections.
Warren shed suspicions of nepotism when she wrote a letter to Bankman-Fried, demanding that FTX be more transparent about how its business ran before it went bankrupt.
She has also said that the only way to remove bad actors is to close loopholes and employ aggressive enforcement.
BeInCrypto has reached out to company or individual involved in the story to get an official statement about the recent developments, but it has yet to hear back.