- FTX unit purchased 7 condos in upscale resort for “key personnel”
- Bankman-Fried’s parents named owners of $16.4 million vacation home
- Bankman and Fried tell Reuters: Seeking to return the deed to FTX
NEW PROVIDENCE, Bahamas, Nov 22 (Reuters) – Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX, his parents and top executives of the failed cryptocurrency exchange have purchased at least 19 properties worth nearly $121 million in the Bahamas over the past two years, according to official property records.
Most of FTX’s purchases were luxury beachfront homes, including seven condominiums in an expensive resort town called Albany, costing nearly $72 million. The deeds show that these properties, purchased by a unit of FTX, were to be used as the company’s “residence for key personnel”. Reuters could not determine who lived in the apartments.
Documents from another house with beach access in Old Fort Bay – a gated community that once housed a British colonial fort built in the 1700s to protect against pirates – show Bankman-Fried’s parents, teachers of Law of Stanford University Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, as signatories. The property, according to one of the documents dated June 15, is intended for use as a “holiday home”.
Asked by Reuters why the couple decided to buy a holiday home in the Bahamas and how it was paid for – whether in cash, with a mortgage or through a third party such as FTX – a door The professors’ spokesman said that Bankman and Fried tried to return the property to FTX.
“Since before the bankruptcy proceedings, Mr. Bankman and Ms. Fried have sought to return the deed to the company and are awaiting further instructions,” the spokesperson said, declining to give further details.
Although FTX and its employees are known to have purchased 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 extent of their buying frenzy and the intended use of some of them. real estate.
FTX, which filed for bankruptcy earlier this month after a wave of client 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 provides 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 around 1 million creditors facing losses totaling billions of dollars. Reuters reported that Bankman-Fried had secretly used $10 billion in client funds to support its business activity, and that at least $1 billion of those deposits had gone missing.
In a U.S. court filing with the District of Delaware Bankruptcy Court earlier this month, John Ray, FTX’s new chief executive, said he understands FTX Group’s corporate funds are used to “purchase houses and other personal items for employees and councillors”.
Reuters could not determine the source of the funds that FTX and its executives used to purchase these properties.
REAL ESTATE PURCHASES
Reuters searched ownership records at the Bahamas Registrar General’s Department for FTX, Bankman-Fried, his parents and some of the company’s top executives.
FTX Property Holdings Ltd, an FTX unit, purchased 15 properties worth nearly $100 million in 2021 and 2022.
His most expensive purchase was a $30 million penthouse at the Albany, a resort where Tiger Woods hosts an annual golf tournament. Ownership records for the penthouse, dated March 17, were signed by Ryan Salame, the chairman of FTX Property, and showed it was intended as “a residence for key personnel”.
Salame did not respond to a request for comment.
Other high-end real estate purchases include three condominiums at One Cable Beach, an oceanfront residence in New Providence. Records showed the condominiums cost between $950,000 and $2 million and were purchased by Nishad Singh, the former head of engineering at 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 cluster of homes that served as FTX’s headquarters and a 4.95-acre piece of land on the shoreline overlooking Cyan Waters that was to also be turned into offices for the 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 officer said employees had not returned to headquarters after leaving earlier this month.
Reporting by Koh Gui Qing; edited by Paritosh Bansal and Claudia Parsons
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