Exclusive: Bankman-Fried’s FTX, parents bought $121 million worth of Bahamas property

  • The FTX unit bought 7 condos at a luxury resort for “key personnel”
  • Bankman-Fried parents named owners of $16.4 million vacation home
  • Bankman and Fried tell Reuters: Seeking to return deed to FTX

NEW PROVIDENCE, The Bahamas, Nov 22 (Reuters) – Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX, his parents and top executives at the failed cryptocurrency exchange have bought at least 19 properties worth nearly $121 million in the Bahamas in the past two years, as shown by official property records.

Most of FTX’s purchases were luxury waterfront homes, including seven condos in an expensive resort community called Albany, costing nearly $72 million. The deeds show that these properties, purchased by a unit of FTX, were to be used as “residence for key personnel” of the company. Reuters could not determine who lived in the apartments.

Documents from another beach-access home in Old Fort Bay, a gated community once home to a British colonial fort built in the 1700s to guard against pirates, show Bankman-Fried’s parents, Stanford University law professors Joseph Bankman and Barbara. Fried, as signatories. The property, said one of the documents dated June 15, is for use as a “vacation home.”

Asked by Reuters why the couple decided to buy a vacation home in the Bahamas and how they paid for it, either with cash, a mortgage or a third party like FTX, a spokesperson for the professors said only that Bankman and Fried had been trying to return ownership to FTX.

“Since before the bankruptcy proceedings, Mr. Bankman and Ms. Fried have been trying to return the deed to the company and are awaiting further instructions,” the spokesperson said, declining to provide further details.

While FTX and its employees are known to have bought real estate in the Bahamas, where it established its headquarters in September last year, property records seen by Reuters show for the first time the scale of its buying spree and the intended use of some from them. the real estate

FTX, which filed for bankruptcy earlier this month after a spate of client 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. To his employees, he said FTX provided free meals and an “internal Uber-like” service across the island.

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

In a US court filing with the District of Delaware bankruptcy court earlier this month, John Ray, FTX’s new CEO, said it was his understanding that FTX Group corporate funds were used to “buy houses and other personal items for employees and advisors.

Reuters could not determine the source of the funds that FTX and its executives used to purchase these properties.

PROPERTY PURCHASES

Reuters searched property records with the Bahamas General Registry Department for FTX, Bankman-Fried, their parents and some of the company’s key executives.

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

His most expensive purchase was a $30 million penthouse in Albany, a resort where Tiger Woods hosts a golf tournament every year. Property records for the penthouse, dated March 17, were signed by Ryan Salame, president of FTX Property, and showed it was intended to be a “key personnel residence.”

Salame did not respond to a request for comment.

Other high-end real estate purchases include three condos at One Cable Beach, an oceanfront residence in New Providence. Records showed the condos cost between $950,000 and $2 million and were purchased by Nishad Singh, former FTX chief engineering officer, Gary Wang, FTX co-founder, 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 group of homes that served as FTX’s headquarters and a 4.95-acre lot on the shoreline overlooking cyan waters that was also intended to become office space for crypto exchange.

The FTX headquarters is now unoccupied, with furniture pushed against some windows. Its signage has been removed. The land, which cost $4.5 million, is also empty.

A security guard said the employees did not return to the headquarters after leaving earlier this month.

Information from Koh Gui Qing; edited by Paritosh Bansal and Claudia Parsons

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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