Elizabeth Warren Questions CFTC Chair On Frequent Interactions With Jailed FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried: Provide 'Full Accounting Of All Conversations'

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) have called on Rostin Behnam, the chair of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), to divulge details of his communications with Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of FTX.

What Happened: Senator Warren and Grassley have issued a letter to Behnam asking for a comprehensive record of his interactions with Bankman-Fried during his tenure. This request comes in the wake of disclosures that CFTC officials had met with Bankman-Fried and his team as many as 10 times at the agency over a span of 14 months.

In 2022, Behnam had informed lawmakers that he had exchanged several messages with the FTX founder, who was recently sentenced to 25 years in prison for massive fraud.

The senators are now demanding copies of all written communications. “A full accounting of all conversations about Mr. Bankman-Fried, FTX, Alameda, or any associated executives involving you or any CFTC employee,” the letter stated.

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The CFTC’s frequent communication with the FTX CEO was reportedly due to Behnam’s attempts to position FTX’s LedgerX division to directly manage margined derivatives trading for customers without an intermediary firm. This unsuccessful endeavor had even been the topic of an internal roundtable discussion at the CFTC, reported CoinDesk.

Steven Adamske, a CFTC spokesperson, confirmed that they had received the senators’ letters. He said, “We just received these letters, so we will work with the office to get them the information they need.”

Why It Matters: This latest move by Warren is part of her ongoing efforts to scrutinize the cryptocurrency industry. In a recent Senate Committee on Armed Services hearing, Warren raised concerns about the illicit use of cryptocurrency, highlighting specific threats like terrorism financing and ‘pig butchering' scams, and emphasized the need for stricter regulations to combat these criminal activities.

Warren has also been vocal about the need for stricter regulations in the crypto industry, questioning why the industry seems to say that the only way it can survive is if there's “plenty of space for the drug traffickers and human traffickers.”

Her latest demand for transparency from the CFTC chair regarding his interactions with the FTX CEO is in line with her ongoing efforts to hold the cryptocurrency industry accountable and ensure that regulatory bodies are actively monitoring and regulating the industry.

Read Next: Crypto Markets Tumble Following Iran’s Drone Attack Against Israel, Investor Warns Of Continued Selloff

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Posted In: CryptocurrencyNewsRegulationsPoliticsGlobalChuck GrassleyElizabeth WarrenKaustubh BagalkoteRostin BehnamSam Bankman-Fried
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