In the early 2000s, Mr. Ray oversaw the winding down of Enron, the energy trading company that collapsed in an accounting scandal. At the hearing, he called the perpetrators of Enron’s crimes “highly sophisticated,” while FTX executives appeared to have engaged in “really old-fashioned embezzlement,” he said.
“Even with most failed companies, we have a fair roadmap of what happened,” Mr. Ray said in his testimony. “We’re dealing with literal paperless bankruptcy. It makes tracking difficult.”
The SEC, in its complaint, amplified these concerns and warnings. The complaint said that from the beginning, “FTX had deficient controls and fundamentally deficient risk management procedures.” The SEC said the company treated assets and liabilities as “interchangeable” in its accounting and bookkeeping books.
At the moment, however, no one but Mr. Bankman-Fried has been charged.
On several occasions, however, the indictment refers to other people who assisted Mr. Bankman-Fried in carrying out the allegedly fraudulent scheme, without naming any of them.
Legal experts, including some lawyers familiar with the investigation, have said it is likely that some of Mr. Bankman-Fried’s former partners are cooperating with authorities, especially given how quickly the charges were filed.
“Someone had to describe to them what happened and what was done in detail,” said Erik Gordon, a law and business professor at the University of Michigan. “Someone gave them a shortcut.”
Royston Jones, Jr., David McCabe, Ephrat Livni, William K. Rashbaum, Rebecca Davis O’Brien and Benjamin Weiser contributed to the report.