The General Counsel of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced that he will be leaving the agency in January.
SEC General Counsel Dan Berkowitz said he is leaving the agency on Jan. 31, the Washington Examiner reported on Dec. 22.
The government official had previously “winded and dined” with FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried and his lobbyists.
“After thirty-four years of public service, it is time for me to pursue new and different challenges and opportunities,” Berkowitz said. Additionally, Berkowitz is a former commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
Furthermore, his announcement comes on the same day that the SBF was bailed out for $250 million.
SEC’s backroom tackles bad actors
The Examiner revealed that Berkowitz had a “comfortable relationship” with SBF and FTX. It cited emails obtained by watchdog Protect the Public Trust, which also informed of the resignations.
The SBF, FTX General Counsel Raine Miller and FTX President Brett Harrison met with Berkowitz in October 2021 at a luxury restaurant, it reported.
Michael Chamberlain, director of Protect the Public Trust, said:
“If ever there was a scene to capture the eye of DC rigging corrupt insiders at the expense of the little guy, it would be hard to top it,”
“Shortly before its collapse and the fraud allegations, the SBF and its gang were wooing one of their potential deregulators, no doubt trying to manipulate the regulations to their advantage,” he added. Said.
Republican Senator Tom Emmer also pointed to multiple meetings between the SEC and FTX, saying they were creating a special regulatory framework to benefit FTX.
Additionally, in reference to SEC Chairman Gary Gensler’s comments about using every tool available to enforce compliance, he said:
“Doing backroom regulatory deals with bad actors is not a tool in the SEC’s toolbox.”
federal regulator responsible
Chamberlain went on to say that government officials and regulators must also be held accountable:
“While the collapse of FTX and the behavior of its executives certainly generated a lot of news, the actions of federal officials must also be scrutinized.”
Gary Gensler met SBF about eight months before his crypto empire broke down. In the meeting, they discussed the concept of a new SEC-approved crypto trading platform. If approved, SBF and its companies would have a clear advantage over their competitors.
Earlier this month, Representative Richie Torres, a Democrat, blamed Gensler for the FTX collapse. “When it comes to FTX, Chair Gensler fundamentally failed as a regulator, and he has no one to blame but himself,” he said at the time.
The rabbit war of deception goes even deeper. As reported by BeInCrypto, anti-crypto senator Elizabeth Warren also had ties to the Bankman-Fried family.
BeInCrypto has reached out to the company or the person involved in the story for an official statement regarding the recent development, but has yet to hear back.