Bahamas-headquartered FTX, its former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried and other company associates spent more than $130 million on real estate in The Bahamas since 2020, according to documents.
This is what The Nassau Guardian has been able to track so far, the number is likely higher with US court filings indicating as much as $300 million in property was purchased in The Bahamas by FTX and affiliates.
A search of records at the Office of the Registrar General yesterday revealed that FTX Property Holdings purchased 18 properties in Albany for a total of $80,790,193.99.
All of the conveyances for FTX Property Holdings were carried out by Clement Maynard & Co.
The company purchased eight condos at the exclusive community in western New Providence. The units were designated as residences for “key personnel”.
The sale for the first Albany property, which was valued at $6.75 million, closed in December 2020.
The second one, which was purchased from two Saudis – Sultan Hussam Alsheik and Haifa Alsheikh – for $8.9 million, closed in March 2022.
A third unit was purchased for $7,478,873.24 and a penthouse was purchased for $30 million. Those sales also closed in March along with the sales for two other units, which were valued at $7,311,320.75 and $7 million.
The now bankrupt crypto giant spent $7.85 million for a condo at the exclusive community and that sale closed in July.
The following month, FTX closed the sale for a $5.5 million Albany unit.
Bayside Estates Ltd. transferred ownership of a $4.5 million property – comprised of 4.95 acres – on West Bay Street and west of Blake Road. The date for this was recorded as March 3, 2022.
It was designated as the site for construction of FTX’s office complex on New Providence, according to a document signed on February 15, 2022, by David Davis, secretary of the Investments Board.
Another $875,000 was spent on property “measuring approximately one acre” which is situated on the western side of Blake Road.
FTX also spent $8,550,000 on office space in the Veridian Corporate Center. It spent also $2,290,000 on a unit in the corporate center for “residence for key personnel”.
Gregory and Gabriella Curry transferred ownership of property in Old Fort Bay to FTX Property Holdings. The sale closed on July 7, 2022, and the property cost $9,000,000.
Several units were also purchased in One Cable Beach.
The first was purchased at $975,000. Ownership was transferred from Winchester Realty and the sale closed on October 6, 2022.
The second was purchased for $1,295,000 from JMK Investment and a third for $1,540,000 from David Doherty.
Ownership of a $1,395,000 unit was transferred from Samco Bahamas to FTX Property Holdings when the sale closed on October 10, 2022.
Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried spent $2 million on a unit in One Cable Beach from James and Dawn Petrocelli. That sale closed on December 1, 2021.
Bankman-Fried’s parents, Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, spent $16.4 million on a property in Old Fort Bay. It was purchased from Latitude 25 Inc. and the common seal of that company was affixed to Nelson Alvarenga De Saldanha as its “sole director”.
A search for the data did not reveal any properties belonging to Caroline Ellison, former CEO of Alameda Research, a trading firm owned by Bankman-Fried, or Gary Wang, FTX co-founder and former chief technology officer.
Ellison and Wang were fired this month after FTX filed for bankruptcy, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Nishad Singh, FTX’s director of engineering, who was also reportedly fired, purchased a $950,000 unit at One Cable Beach from RLJ Seaside. The sale closed on December 1, 2022.
FTX Digital Markets Co-CEO Ryan Salame spent $7,235,000 on a unit at Albany.
Bahamas Real Estate Association President Nikki Beouf acknowledged that the purchases were “very large”.
“Of course, when they made those purchases, they would have made them at separate brokerages,” Beouf said when reached for comment yesterday.
“I guess everybody would have seen quite an uptick in sales as a direct result of it. I know it has caused a shortage for some type of properties in the luxury sector as a direct result but really that’s the extent of it from a real estate perspective.”
After facing a liquidity crisis earlier this month, the Securities Commission of The Bahamas (SCB) froze the assets of FTX and put the company into liquidation.
The next day, Bankman-Fried announced that FTX and over 100 affiliate companies had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US and that he stepped down as CEO.
FTX’s Bahamas-based company was not a part of that filing.
The joint provisional liquidators appointed to oversee the winding up of FTX in The Bahamas said they never authorized anyone at FTX to file for Chapter 11.
One of the liquidators, Brian Simms, KC, in court filings in New York, said there might have been “fraud and mismanagement” at the company.
John Ray III was named the new CEO of FTX. Ray, who oversaw the bankruptcy of Enron, said that never in his 40-year career has he seen “such a complete failure of corporate controls and such complete absence of trustworthy financial information” as he has seen at FTX.
The company owes its top 50 creditors over $3 billion.