Disgraced FTX ex-CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, his parents, and other executives at the bankrupt platform have snapped up a fortune in real estate properties across the Bahamas in the last two years, according to a report Tuesday.
Bankman-Fried and his associates own at least 19 properties in the island chain with an estimated value of nearly $121 million, Reuters reported, citing property records. The sprawling real estate empire was mostly comprised of high-end beachfront properties.
The lavish purchases belie Bankman-Fried’s image as a scruffy, T-shirt-and-sneakers-wearing donor to progressive causes. They also raise further questions about FTX’s handling of more than $1 billion in missing client funds.
Bankman-Fried’s parents, Stanford University law professors Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, are reportedly listed as signatories on a beach house within the Old Fort Bay gated community.
Documents from last June indicated the property was intended as a “vacation home” for the family.
A spokesperson for Bankman and Fried said they plan to “return” the property. It’s unclear how the home was purchased.
“Since before the bankruptcy proceedings, Mr. Bankman and Ms. Fried have been seeking to return the deed to the company and are awaiting further instructions,” a spokesperson for Bankman-Fried’s parents told the outlet.
A branch of FTX purchased seven beachfront condos for nearly $72 million in the ritzy Albany community — the same resort that housed the “luxury penthouse” from which Bankman-Fried, his ex-lover Caroline Ellison and other associates purportedly ran FTX.
Property deeds indicated the properties were tabbed for use as “residence for key personnel” at FTX, though it’s unclear who actually lived in the condos.
The single most expensive property found in the documentation was a $30 million penthouse in the Albany resort. FTX spent $8.55 million on a group of homes that formed the company’s local campus — though the report said employees left that area earlier this month as the company imploded.
Three other condos were purchased in the One Cable Beach, another prime waterfront venue, and identified as residences for Bankman-Fried, FTX co-founder Gary Wang and ex-FTX executive Nishad Singh.
FTX and Bankman-Fried did not return Reuters’ request for comment on the documents.
Reuters stated that it “could not determine the source of funds that FTX and its executives used to buy these properties.”
The finances of FTX and Bankman-Fried are under immense scrutiny as the platform navigates complicated bankruptcy proceedings. A court filing showed that FTX owed its top 50 creditors a whopping $3 billion, including $226 million to its largest creditor.
Bankman-Fried’s net worth crumbled from an estimated $16 billion to zero in recent days following FTX’s collapse.
Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Bankman-Fried cashed out $300 million in 2021 after FTX closed a massive fundraising round — a move he reportedly dismissed to investors as partial reimbursement after he bought out a rival’s stake.
New FTX CEO John Ray III touched on lavish spending at the company in the same court filing in which he slammed its corporate governance practices as worse than those he encountered while leading the infamous energy firm Enron through its bankruptcy.
“In the Bahamas, I understand that corporate funds of the FTX Group were used to purchase homes and other personal items for employees and advisors,” Roy said in the filing.
“I understand that there does not appear to be documentation for certain of these transactions as loans and that certain real estate was recorded in the personal name of these employees and advisors on the records of the Bahamas,” Ray added.
The filing also described a chaotic system in which FTX supervisors often used emojis to approve expense requests.