Gensler ‘Singularly Responsible’ for Failing To Expose FTX Fraud, Rep. Says

Rep. Torres’ call for investigation comes months after he and several other representatives drafted a letter to Gensler asking about the SEC’s jurisdiction over non-SEC regulated entities

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Rep. Ritchie Torres | lev radin/Shutterstock.com

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A member of the House Committee on Financial Services is calling for the Government Accountability Office, known as Congress’ investigation arm, to look into the SEC and its “failure to protect the investing public” from FTX. 

Rep. Ritchie Torres, D-N.Y., drafted the letter, dated Tuesday. 

“Chair Gensler took the position that the SEC had clear authority to investigate crypto exchanges,” Torres told Blockworks via email.

“When it comes to government failure, the public official singularly responsible for failing to expose the FTX fraud is SEC Chair Gary Gensler.”

Torres also referred to the SEC’s handling of FTX as “egregious mismanagement.” 

“If he had clear authority to do so, why did he fail to uncover the largest crypto Ponzi scheme in history?” Torres added. “It is on Congress to pass laws, but it is on the regulators to apply those laws to conduct investigations, and in the case of Gary Gensler, the regulators failed catastrophically. Chair Gensler has some explaining to do.”

Torres’ call for investigation comes months after he, along with Reps. Tom Emmer, R-Ind., Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., Jake Auchincloss, D-N.J., Ted Budd, R-N.C., Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, Byron Donalds, R-Fl., and Darren Soto, D-Fl., drafted a letter to Gensler asking about the SEC’s jurisdiction over non-SEC regulated entities. 

“The SEC’s regulatory functions, while broad, are limited to the extent of its statutorily mandated jurisdiction,” the letter, published in March 2022, read. “It appears there has been a recent trend towards employing the Enforcement Division’s investigative functions to gather information from unregulated cryptocurrency and blockchain industry participants in a manner inconsistent with the Commission’s standards for initiating investigations.” 

The letter does not mention any specific cryptocurrency companies representatives were concerned the SEC was investigating, FTX or otherwise. 

Torres did receive campaign donations linked to FTX founder Sam-Bankman-Fried, according to Federal Election Commission filings, but the Congressman elected to donate his contribution, his office told Blockworks last month.


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