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General counsel Berkovitz who ‘wined & dined’ SBF to leave SEC in Jan

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The US SEC general counsel Dan Berkovitz will leave his role by Jan. 31,  according to a Dec. 22 statement.

Washington Examiner reported that Berkovitz “wined and dined” in 2021 with the disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried at a luxury Indian restaurant in Washington. Then, the regulatory chief was a Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) commissioner.

While what was discussed is unknown, the report said the dinner occurred while SBF was lobbying regulators for favorable crypto regulations.

US lawmaker Tom Emmer criticized the SEC and its chairman, Gary Gensler, for holding more meetings with FTX than anyone else in crypto. He said the commission allegedly worked to “craft a special regulatory framework designed to benefit FTX alone.” Emmer added:

“Making backroom regulatory deals with bad actors is not a tool in the SEC’s toolbox.”

Meanwhile, Berkovitz previously criticized decentralized finance (DeFi) in one of his speeches as a CFTC commissioner. According to him, DeFi lacks intermediaries that regulators could charge with protecting investors. He described DeFi as “a Hobbesian marketplace.”

SEC’s principal deputy general counsel Megan Barbero will replace Berkovitz.

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