Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and former CEO of FTX, is scheduled to testify in front of a House committee in the United States on Tuesday, as regulators investigate his role in the aftermath of the exchange’s failure. However, SBF, clarified on a Twitter space discussion, that he would be testifying through a video call and not in person. This has led many to doubt on whether SBF fears a possible jail arrest if he steps into the U.S. soil.
SBF To Testify On Video
The House Committee panel announced in a statement that it would hear from the newly appointed FTX CEO John J. Ray III as well as from Bankman-Fried on Tuesday. The statement was released late on Friday.
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When asked about his testimony to the Congress on Friday, in a Twitter space of over 19K participants, SBF confirmed his presence over a video call. However, when another participant asked about his failure to appear in person, for the Congressional hearing — SBF cited reasons of security, paparazzi and time-saving.
Can SBF Be Jailed?
However, a few former U.S. officials and top lawyers think it’s for a different reason. According to Braden Perry, a former senior trial attorney for the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, believes SBF’s video call attempt is a sly way of avoiding being taken into custody by U.S. authorities.
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Michael Zweiback, a prominent Los Angeles-based criminal defense lawyer seconded Braden’s views and said that:
The fact of the matter is that the Southern District of [New York] could arrest him based on probable cause based upon a complaint, and then they could pursue a grand jury indictment.
“SBF is of course and should be concerned about being taken into custody at any time.” said Mark Kornfeld, from the Pennsylvanian-based law firm Buchanan Ingersoll Rooney.
SBF Replies To Jail Fears
Responding to a question from the audience, whether he feared jail time while flying over to the U.S. from his residence in the Bahamas, SBF abruptly replied:
I don’t think I will be arrested.
Sam Bankman-Fried has also been requested to attend the Senate hearing which might happen later this month. However, when asked about his views on it, SBF seemed casual in his tone and stuttered to reply:
I… I.. (five times) not currently scheduled to do that, but I am open and willing to have a conversation if it’s believed to be important.
SBF also confirmed to playing video games while being on the 2-hour long Twitter space call.
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