FTX, the now-bankrupt crypto exchange operator, its founder Sam Bankman-Fried's parents and the firm's senior executives bought at least 19 properties worth about $121 million in the Bahamas over the past two years, Reuters reported Tuesday, citing official property records.
The majority of the purchases — 15 properties worth about $100 million — were made by FTX's unit FTX Property Holdings in 2021 and 2022, per the report. The most expensive property purchase was a $30 million penthouse at a resort called Albany. Its deed was reportedly signed by Ryan Salame, the president of FTX Property on March 17, and showed it was intended as a "residence for key personnel."
Reuters said it could not determine who lived in the apartments. But last week, Bankman-Fried told Reuters he lived in a house with nine other colleagues and that FTX provided free meals and an "in-house Uber-like" service around the island.
Other high-end property purchases reportedly include three condominiums at One Cable Beach, costing between $950,000 and $2 million, and were bought by Bankman-Fried, Gary Wang, an FTX co-founder, and Nishad Singh, the former head of engineering at FTX, for residential use.
Another property is in Old Fort Bay, a former British colonial fort built in the 1700s, and its documents show Bankman-Fried's parents, Stanford University law professors Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, as signatories. The property is for use as a "vacation home," according to one of the documents dated June 15.
The parents have been trying to return the property to FTX, their spokesperson told Reuters. "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," the spokesperson said.
Two of FTX Property's units were marked for commercial use. These were an $8.55 million cluster of houses that served as FTX's headquarters and a 4.95-acre plot of land worth $4.5 million that was also meant to be developed into office space for the crypto exchange. The FTX headquarters is now unoccupied, its signage has been removed, and the plot of land also lies empty, per the report.
Reuters searched property records at the Bahamas Registrar General's Department. A security guard told the news outlet that FTX employees did not return to the headquarters after leaving earlier this month.
FTX Group filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Nov. 11 amid a sudden liquidity crisis. The crypto exchange operator reportedly tapped customer assets to fund risky bets by its affiliated trading firm Alameda Research, setting up its implosion. FTX Group owes $3.1 billion to its top 50 creditors and has cash balances of only $1.24 billion.
Disclaimer: The former CEO and majority shareholder of The Block has disclosed a series of loans from former FTX and Alameda founder Sam Bankman-Fried.
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