Digital Assets: FTX And Its Billionaire Owner Sam Bankman-Fried Being Investigated By Texas State Securities Board
Crypto exchange FTX is under the lens for offering interest-bearing schemes that Texans can invest in.
Joe Rotunda, the enforcement director of the Texas State Securities Board (TSSB), found that he could easily apply to join FTX’s yield-earning offering even though he listed his Austin address. The problem? FTX has not registered to sell securities in Texas. It appears, therefore, that FTX has been offering unregistered securities to Texas residents through its yield-bearing cryptocurrency accounts – a matter under investigation by the TSSB since last week. (The Texas Tribune)
Also drawn into the investigation is billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried, the CEO and founder of FTX, who topped the list of Democrat donors for Beto O’Rourke’s campaign for Texas governor with a contribution of $1 million during the latest fundraising period between July 1 and Sept. 29.
According to Rotunda, as of Monday, the investigation was continuing, but is likely to take less time to conclude given some ongoing business matters. The investigation may put a spoke in FTX’s $1.4 billion acquisition of bankrupt crypto player Voyager Digital.
Rotunda told the Tribune that the TSSB would like to draw FTX into compliance with securities laws by obtaining a license to sell securities in Texas.
“We want Texans to have the opportunity to invest in what they want to invest in. We want to make sure they’re protected, and that’s why we’re trying to get companies into compliance,” he said. “The entire goal is to protect Texas.”
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