In the past two years, at least 19 homes worth close to $121 million have been purchased in the Bahamas by Sam Bankman-FTX, Fried’s parents, and senior officials of the defunct cryptocurrency exchange, according to official property records.
Meanwhile, attorneys for FTX claimed on Tuesday that FTX was managed as a “fief” of Bankman-Fried and that one of the company’s entities invested $300 million in the Bahamas purchasing residences and holiday facilities for its senior staff. No more information was provided.
The majority of FTX’s purchases listed in the documents that were reviewed were opulent beachfront houses, including 7 condominiums in the pricey resort neighbourhood of Albany that cost about $72 million. According to the documents, FTX’s unit purchased these properties with the intention of using them as “dwellings for key staff.” It was impossible to tell who resided in the units.
Bankman-Fried’s parents, who were law professors from Stanford University called Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, are listed as signatories on the papers for another beachfront home in Old Fort Bay, a gated neighbourhood that formerly housed a British colonial fort constructed in the 1700s to stave against pirates. One of the paperwork dated June 15 stated that the property is intended to be used as a “vacation residence.”
A representative for the academics only revealed that Bankman and Fried had been attempting to return the property to FTX when asked why the pair made the decision to purchase a holiday home in the Bahamas and exactly how it was paid for, such as with cash, a mortgage, or by a third party like FTX.
Mr Bankman and Ms Fried have been trying to return the deed to the business since well before the bankruptcy process, and they are currently waiting for further instructions, the spokeswoman said, declining to go into greater detail.
Although it is well known that FTX and its staff purchased the property in the Bahamas, where it built its headquarters in September of last year, the property documents obtained reveal for the first time the extent of their buying binge and the intended purpose of some of the real estate.
A comment request was not answered by FTX, which filed into bankruptcy earlier in the month following a spike in consumer withdrawals. An inquiry for comment from Bankman-Fried was not answered.
According to Bankman-Fried, he shared a residence with nine other co-workers. He said that FTX offered complimentary lunches to its staff members and an “in-house Uber-like” transportation service all over the island.
One of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, FTX, went under, leaving an expected 1 million debtors with losses running into the billions of dollars. According to reports, Bankman-Fried utilised $10 billion in client funds in secret to support his trading company, and at least $1 billion of such deposits were missing.
John Ray, the new CEO of FTX, stated that he recognised that corporate money of the FTX Group was used to buy residences and other personal assets for workers and advisers in a statement with the District of Delaware bankruptcy court this month.
The source of the money used by FTX and its executives to purchase these properties was unknown.