FTX spokesman Kevin O’Leary testified before the Senate Banking Committee Wednesday, discussing the collapse of the cryptocurrency trading platform, and recalled a conversation he had with former CEO and co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried immediately after things went wrong.
O’Leary recalled that after his company assets were rendered useless, he had trouble getting answers, so he called Bankman-Fried himself.
“After my accounts were stripped of all their assets and all accounting and business information, I was unable to get answers from any of the company executives, so I simply called Sam Bankman-Fried and said : ‘Where’s the money, Sam?'” O’Leary told the committee in response to a question about why he believes the company has failed.
He said Bankman-Fried’s response began with him claiming he didn’t know because he no longer had access to the company’s servers.
WHERE DID THE MONEY IN FTX CRYPTO COLLAPSE?
“I said, okay, let’s take a step back. Is this a simple case in my mind of where did the money go?” O’Leary continued. “And I said, ‘Sam, take me back 24 months. Tell me the proceeds from the use of your company’s assets. Where did you spend it?'”
READ ON THE FOX BUSINESS APP
O’Leary then relayed Bankman-Fried’s response, that in the previous 24 months, he had paid competitor Binance between $2 and $3 billion to buy back the FTX shares that Binance or its CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao had acquired . O’Leary explained that according to Bankman-Fried, Binance refused to meet requests from several jurisdictions to obtain the license, so it ended up buying back the shares at a premium.
DEMS SILENT ABOUT RETURNING MILLIONS IN DONATIONS FROM FTX FOUNDER
O’Leary then directly addressed the initial question he was asked about what happened to FTX.
“In my personal opinion, these two behemoths who jointly own the unregulated market and grow these amazing growth-wise businesses were at war with each other and one intentionally put the other out of business. Now, maybe not there is nothing wrong with Maybe there is nothing wrong with love and war, but now Binance is a huge unregulated global monopoly,” he said.
“Now, many other reasons, I’m sure, but that’s my personal opinion,” he added.
GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE
FTX filed for bankruptcy on November 11th. Since then, Bankman-Fried has been indicted by the SEC, CFTC and federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York on conspiracy and fraud charges. Among the allegations were claims that Bankman-Fried took investor funds, transferred them to his cryptocurrency hedge fund Alameda Research and used them for personal purposes, including political contributions.
Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas the night before he was scheduled to testify before a House committee.