- FTX unit bought 7 apartments in upscale resort for “key staff”
- The Bankman-Fried parents have announced that they are the owners of a $16.4 million vacation home
- Banker and Farid tell Reuters: Seeking to return the bond to FTX
NEW PROVIDENCE, Bahamas, Nov. 22 (Reuters) – Official property records show that Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX, his parents, and top executives at the failed cryptocurrency exchange have purchased at least 19 properties worth nearly $121 million in the Bahamas. over the past two years.
Most of FTX’s purchases were luxury beachfront homes, including seven condominiums in an expensive resort community called Albany, costing nearly $72 million. The bonds show that this property, which was purchased by one of the units of FTX, was to be used as “accommodation for key employees” of the company. Reuters was unable to determine who lived in the apartments.
Documentation for another home with beach access in Old Fort Bay—a gated community once home to a British colonial fort built in the 18th century to protect against pirates—shows Bankman Fried’s parents and Stanford law professors Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried as signatories. One document, dated June 15, said the property would be used as a “vacation home.”
When asked by Reuters why the couple decided to buy a vacation home in the Bahamas and how it was paid for — whether with cash, a mortgage, or by a third party like FTX — a spokesperson for Professors said only that Bankman and Fried were trying to return the property to FTX.
“Since before the bankruptcy proceedings, Mr. Bankman and Ms. Freed have been seeking to return the bond to the company and await further instructions,” the spokesperson said, declining to go into further detail.
While FTX and its employees are known to have purchased property in the Bahamas, where it established its headquarters in September of last year, real estate records seen by Reuters show for the first time the scale of the buying spree and the intended use of some of the real situation.
FTX, which filed for bankruptcy earlier this month after 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 he lives in a house with nine other colleagues. For his employees, he said, FTX offers free meals and an “Uber-like in-house” service across the island.
The collapse of FTX, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, has left an estimated 1 million creditors facing billions of dollars in losses. Reuters reports that Bankman-Fried secretly used $10 billion in customer funds to support its trading business, and that at least $1 billion of those deposits has disappeared.
In a lawsuit filed in Delaware County Bankruptcy Court earlier this month, FTX’s new CEO, John Ray, said he understood that FTX group corporate funds were used “to purchase homes and other personal items for employees and advisors.”
Reuters was unable to determine the source of the funds that FTX and its executives used to purchase these properties.
Real estate purchases
Reuters searched property records at the Bahamas Registrar General Department for FTX, Bankman-Fried, his parents and some of the company’s top executives.
FTX Property Holdings Ltd, a unit of FTX, has purchased 15 properties worth approximately $100 million in 2021 and 2022.
Her most expensive purchase was a $30 million penthouse in Albany, a resort where Tiger Woods hosts a golf tournament every year. Title records for the apartment, dated March 17, were signed by Ryan Salama, President of FTX Property, and showed that it was intended to be “key staff accommodation”.
Salameh did not respond to a request for comment.
Other luxury real estate purchases include three condominium units at One Cable Beach, a beachfront residence in New Providence. Records showed the units cost between $950,000 and $2 million and were bought by Nishad Singh, former chief engineering officer of FTX, Gary Wang, 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 properties have been marked for commercial use — an $8.55 million home cluster that served as FTX’s corporate headquarters, and a 4.95-acre plot on the coast overlooking Heavenly Waters that was also to be developed into office space for a cryptocurrency exchange.
The FTX headquarters is now unoccupied, with furniture pushed up against some of the windows. Its banners have been removed. The $4.5 million plot of land is also empty.
A security guard said the staff had not returned to the headquarters after he left earlier this month.
(Reporting by Koh Gui Ching) Editing by Paritosh Bansal and Claudia Parsons
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