EXCLUSIVE Bankman-Fried’s FTX, Parents Purchased $121 Million Bahamas Property

  • FTX unit bought 7 apartments in luxury resort for “key personnel”
  • Bankman-Fried’s parents have named the owners of a $16.4 million vacation home
  • Bankman and Fried tell Reuters: trying to return the deed to FTX

NEW PROVIDENCE, Bahamas, Nov 22 (Reuters) – Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX, his parents and senior executives of the failed cryptocurrency exchange bought at least 19 properties worth nearly $121 million in the Bahamas over the past two years, it appears from official ownership records.

Most of FTX’s purchases were luxury beachfront homes, including seven condominiums in an expensive resort community called Albany that cost nearly $72 million. The deeds show that these properties, purchased by a unit of FTX, were to be used as the company’s “residence for key personnel”. Reuters was unable to determine who lived in the apartments.

The documents for another house with beach access in Old Fort Bay – a gated community that was once home to a British colonial fort built in the 18th century to protect against pirates – show Bankman-Fried’s parents, law professors at Stanford University, Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, as signatories. According to one of the June 15 documents, the property is designated for use as a “holiday home.”

When asked by Reuters why the couple decided to buy a vacation home in the Bahamas and how it was paid for — in cash, with a mortgage or through a third party such as FTX — a spokesperson for the professors said only that Bankman and Fried had tried to sell the property. return it to FTX.

“Since before the bankruptcy proceedings, Mr. Bankman and Ms. Fried have attempted to return the deed to the company and are awaiting further instructions,” the spokesman said, declining to elaborate.

While FTX and its employees are known to have purchased real estate in the Bahamas, where it set up its headquarters last September, property data accessed by Reuters shows for the first time the extent of their buying spree and the intended use of some of the real estate.

FTX, which filed for bankruptcy earlier this month following a rush of customer withdrawals, did not respond to a request for comment. Bankman-Fried did not respond to requests for comment.

Bankman-Fried told Reuters that he lived in a house with nine other colleagues. For his employees, he said FTX provided free meals and an “in-house Uber-like” service around the island.

The collapse of FTX, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, has left an estimated 1 million creditors facing losses totaling billions of dollars. Reuters has reported that Bankman-Fried secretly used $10 billion in client funds to support its trading business, and that at least $1 billion of those deposits had gone missing.

In a U.S. lawsuit filed in the Delaware District Court earlier this month, John Ray, the new CEO of FTX, said he understood that FTX Group corporate funds were being used to purchase “homes and other personal items for employees and consultants.” to buy”.

Reuters was unable to determine the source of the money FTX and its executives used to purchase these properties.

PROPERTY PURCHASES

Reuters searched property files at the Registrar General of the Bahamas for FTX, Bankman-Fried, his parents and some of the company’s top executives.

FTX Property Holdings Ltd, a part of FTX, purchased 15 properties worth nearly $100 million in 2021 and 2022.

The most expensive purchase was a $30 million penthouse in Albany, a resort where Tiger Woods hosts an annual golf tournament. The penthouse’s ownership papers, dated March 17, were signed by Ryan Salame, the president of FTX Property, and showed that it was intended as a “residence for key personnel.”

Salame did not respond to a request for comment.

Other high-end real estate purchases include three condominiums in One Cable Beach, a beachfront residence in New Providence. Records showed that the condominiums cost between $950,000 and $2 million and were purchased by Nishad Singh, the former head of engineering at FTX, Gary Wang, a co-founder of FTX, and Bankman-Fried for residential use.

Singh and Wang did not respond to requests for comment.

Two of FTX Property’s real estate holdings were marked for commercial use: an $8.55 million cluster of homes that served as FTX’s headquarters, and a 4.95-acre tract of oceanfront land overlooking cyan water that also intended was to be developed into office space for the crypto exchange.

The FTX HQ is now empty, with furniture pushed up against some of the windows. The signage has been removed. The piece of land, which cost $ 4.5 million, is also empty.

A security guard said employees did not return to headquarters after they left earlier this month.

Reporting by Koh Gui Qing; edited by Paritosh Bansal and Claudia Parsons

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Principles of Trust.

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