Sam Bankman-Fried Was a ‘Pathological Liar’: Congressman

Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.) discusses how the disgraced former CEO “misled the public,” and what he did with Bankman-Fried’s $2,900 political donation.

AccessTimeIconDec 14, 2022 at 9:13 p.m. UTC

Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.) told CoinDesk TV’s “First Mover” on Wednesday FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is a “pathological liar.” Torres, a member of the House Financial Services Committee, added that “there’s evidence to suggest this much.”

Torres, who represents New York’s 15th district, attended Tuesday’s House Financial Services Committee hearing on the collapse of crypto exchange FTX. Bankman-Fried was expected to testify before the committee until his arrest Monday.

Torres said the details of FTX’s failure he heard during the hearing were “shocking,” confirming his belief Bankman-Fried “perpetrated a Ponzi scheme,” mishandling millions of dollars worth of customer funds.

Bankman-Fried was expected to testify before the committee until his arrest Monday in the Bahamas after the U.S. filed criminal charges, which were made public on Tuesday. Charges include wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and violating campaign finance laws.

“FTX had the corporate governance of a fraternity,” Torres said. “It would be laughable were it not so serious.”

Torres said that Bankman-Fried’s statements in a string of tweets led the public to believe FTX had enough assets to cover its liabilities. According to Torres, the public to believed “there was no problem” and that everything was fine. “He misled the public. He lied,” he said.

Speaking of campaign financing, Torres was one of those in Congress who received what he said were “unsolicited donations” from Bankman-Fried, to the tune of $2,900. He said that money is being donated to a local charity.

“My ties to him are minimal,” Torres said. In March he and seven other House members wrote to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) criticizing the government regulator’s efforts in probing FTX and U.S.-based crypto exchange Coinbase.


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Fran Velasquez

Fran is CoinDesk's TV writer and reporter.