- FTX, several of the exchange’s senior executives, and Sam Bankman-Fried’s parents collectively spent $121 million on properties in The Bahamas from 2021 through 2022, according to property records seen by Reuters.
- FTX bought a $30 million luxury penthouse and other properties for the exchange’s “key personnel,” while Bankman-Fried’s parents purchased a “vacation home” on the island.
- Bankman-Fried was last seen in The Bahamas as the global scandal surrounding his exchange’s stunning collapse continues.
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The source of the funds FTX and its team members used to buy the properties is unclear.
FTX Settles in The Bahamas
FTX and some of the key figures within Sam Bankman-Fried’s orbit spent $121 million on real estate in The Bahamas from 2021 through 2022, according to property records seen by Reuters.
A Tuesday report states that FTX, several of its senior executives, and Bankman-Fried’s parents, Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, dropped the nine-figure sum on at least 19 properties over the past two years.
According to the report, FTX spent $72 million on seven properties in the luxury resort Albany Club, including one $30 million penthouse that’s now listed on the market. FTX Property Holdings Ltd, an arm of FTX, purchased most of the properties “for key personnel” of the collapsed exchange, but the documents also reveal that Bankman-Fried’s parents are listed as signatories on a beachside “vacation home.” A spokesperson for Bankman and Fried reportedly said that the pair had tried to return the property to FTX.
Nishad Singh and Gary Wang, two of Bankman-Fried’s closest associates who held senior positions at FTX, also personally purchased properties on the island alongside Bankman-Fried. Due to their close ties to Bankman-Fried, Singh and Wang are widely suspected to have had insider knowledge of his fraudulent activity at the helm of the exchange. The pair have stayed silent since FTX crumbled this month.
FTX filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on November 11 after a bank run left the firm insolvent. Before the filing, it was revealed that Bankman-Fried had sent $10 billion worth of customer funds to his trading firm, Alameda Research, as it dealt with piling debts and losses in the market. Until its collapse, Alameda was led by Bankman-Fried’s onetime partner Caroline Ellison, who also shared a property with him and others in his inner circle in The Bahamas.
Reuters noted that the source of the funds used to purchase the properties is unknown.
SBF’s Parents Buy “Vacation Home”
The revelation surrounding the Bahamas properties owned by FTX and its associates is only the latest development in what’s become the biggest scandal in cryptocurrency history. Bankman-Fried’s firm relocated from Hong Kong to The Bahamas in September 2021, and it was revealed earlier this month that FTX and Alameda team members had lived together on the island as both organizations imploded.
However, it was previously unknown that Bankman and Fried owned a “vacation home” in close proximity to FTX’s headquarters. It’s yet another update that’s bound to raise questions about the pair’s dealings with their disgraced son, who’s become the subject of public scrutiny in the wake of FTX’s collapse.
The crypto community has demanded answers for how Bankman-Fried, who until this month was seen as a golden boy of the industry, successfully duped an estimated 1 million customers, policymakers, the mainstream media, and the space at large while running a $10 billion swindle.
FTX’s new CEO John J. Ray III described “a complete failure of corporate controls” at the exchange in a bankruptcy filing last week, while FTX published a statement distancing itself from Bankman-Fried after he gave a controversial interview to Vox. The Securities Commission of The Bahamas, meanwhile, has claimed responsibility for a nine-figure hack that hit FTX on November 12, but on-chain data suggests that a bad actor may have siphoned the majority of the haul.
The Department of Justice and SEC are both probing FTX, but Bankman-Fried has not yet been charged with any wrongdoing. Photos published in The Daily Mail show that Bankman-Fried was still residing in FTX’s Albany Court penthouse on November 21.