The crypto-friendly Pennsylvanian senator noted that the recent charges are aimed at the individuals abusing crypto, not the industry itself.
United States businessman and senator Patrick “Pat” Toomey Jr. recently weighed in on the charges on SBF and the testimony of current FTX CEO John J. Ray who was called to testify on the firm’s implosion in the wake of Sam Bankman-Fried’s detainment.
According to Toomey, the FTX saga looks like a case of commonplace fraud, and the charges brought on SBF by the DoJ and SEC are not against the crypto industry but those who abuse it.
Recall that, following his arrest by Bahamian police at the behest of United States authorities, the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) filed formal charges against SBF on the grounds of ‘fraud, money laundering, and campaign finance offenses.’ The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also indicted the FTX founder for defrauding exchange investors. Furthermore, the CFTC charged SBF, FTX Trading, and Alameda Research with fraud and material misrepresentations yesterday.
“The testimony yesterday underscored a very important point: this really looked like garden-variety fraud that has happened in the past, usually with dollars or securities of the conventional sort; and here, it happened to happen with crypto. It is not an indictment against crypto; it is an indictment against the guys who misused it,” Toomey said in a CNBC Squawk Box interview.
"This is not an indictment against #crypto. It's an indictment against the guys who misuse it," says @SenToomey on @SBF_FTX. "Congress should finally pass the legislation to provide the regulatory clarity so we don't have this ambiguity on how does this get regulated." pic.twitter.com/rs9PHeeBGW
— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) December 14, 2022
Toomey Reiterates the Need for Regulatory Clarity
Toomey further noted that the recent FTX collapse highlights the need for regulatory clarity within the crypto industry. “We are inevitably going to have a big conversation on where we go from here,” Toomey said. He stated that the U.S. Congress should pass the legislation he has been calling for, which will clarify which agency oversees which assets and how these can be regulated.
“Congress should finally pass the legislation that I’ve been urging us to pass, which will provide the regulatory clarity so that we don’t have this ambiguity as to who’s got the authority here – who doesn’t – and how does it get regulated. We need to eliminate that; then we would have business flowing to prudent, sensible, well-regulated American exchanges,” he concluded.
In July, Senator Toomey asserted that SEC Chair Gary Gensler’s refusal to provide regulatory clarity for cryptocurrencies is responsible for hurting consumers, as proper consumer protection measures are not enacted.
Furthermore, the 61-year-old American politician echoed the desire of the members of The U.S. Committee On Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs when he said he is hoping to get more insight into how the whole collapse went down today. The committee has scheduled an open session at 10 AM today (PT) dubbed “Crypto Crash: Why the FTX Bubble Burst and the Harm to Consumers,” with four witnesses, including FTX investor Kevin O’Leary.
John Ray’s Testimony in the Senate Hearing
This session would follow the Senate Hearing on the FTX collapse, which featured testimony by John Ray. Ray did not mince words in the revelations made during the hearing. According to him, FTX engaged in old-fashioned embezzlement. “This is just taking money from customers and using it for your own purpose. Not sophisticated at all,” Ray said in the hearing.
He further disclosed to the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services that SBF lied when he said in a now-deleted tweet that FTX had enough funds to cover all client holdings at the saga’s beginning. He also revealed that Bankman-Fried allowed about 1,500 Bahamas-based customers to withdraw up to $100 million in the 24 hours following the bankruptcy filing.