NEW PROVIDENCE, Bahamas (Reuters) – Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX, his parents and senior executives at the failed cryptocurrency exchange have bought at least 19 properties worth nearly $121 million in the Bahamas over the past two years. , as the official property records show.
Separately, FTX’s attorneys said on Tuesday that one of the company’s divisions spent $300 million in the Bahamas buying homes and vacation properties for its senior staff and that FTX was being run as a “personal fiefdom” by Bankman- Fried. No further details were provided.
Most of FTX’s purchases recorded in the documents seen by Reuters were luxury beach homes, including seven condos in an expensive resort town called Albany, costing nearly $72 million. The documents show that these properties, purchased by a unit of FTX, were to be used as a “key personal residence” of the company. Reuters was unable to determine who lived in the apartments.
Documents from another home with beach access in Old Fort Bay — a gated community that once housed 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 documents dated June 15, the property is intended to be used as a “holiday home”.
Asked by Reuters why the couple decided to buy a vacation home in the Bahamas and how it was paid for — cash, a mortgage or through a third party like FTX — a spokesperson for the professors said only that Bankman and Fried had attempted to sell the property and return it to FTX.
“Since prior to 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 bought real estate in the Bahamas, where it was based last September, property data consulted by Reuters shows for the first time the extent of their buying rush and use expected of part of the real estate properties. FTX, which filed for bankruptcy earlier this month following a surge in customer withdrawals, did not respond to a request for comment. Bankman-Fried did not respond to requests for comment.
Bankman-Fried told Reuters he lived in a house with nine other colleagues. For his employees, he said FTX provided free meals and “in-house Uber-like” service around the island.
The collapse of FTX, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, has left an estimated 1 million creditors facing losses totaling billions of dollars. Reuters reported that Bankman-Fried secretly used $10 billion of client funds to support its trading business and that at least $1 billion of those deposits had disappeared.
In a US court filing earlier this month in Delaware bankruptcy court, FTX’s new CEO John Ray said he understood that FTX Group corporate funds were being used to “purchase homes and other personal items for employees and purchase consultants.
Reuters was unable to determine the source of the money FTX and its executives used to purchase these properties.
REAL ESTATE PURCHASES
Reuters searched files owned by the Bahamian registrar general 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. Ownership documents for the penthouse dated March 17 were signed by Ryan Salame, president of FTX Property, showing it was intended to be “a residence for key personnel”.
Salame did not respond to a request for comment.
Other quality real estate purchases include three condos at One Cable Beach, an oceanfront residence in New Providence. Records indicate that the condos cost between $950,000 and $2 million and were purchased for residential use by former FTX CTO Nishad Singh, FTX co-founder Gary Wang, and Bankman-Fried.
Singh and Wang did not respond to requests for comment.
Two of FTX Property’s properties were for commercial use – an $8.55 million cluster of homes that served as FTX’s headquarters and a 4.95-acre coastal property overlooking Cyan Water, which is also The crypto exchange should be extended to offices. The FTX headquarters is now empty, with furniture leaning against some windows. The signage has been removed. The piece of land, which cost 4.5 million dollars, is also empty.
A security guard said employees have not returned to headquarters after leaving earlier this month.