The Bahamas has more than 700 islands and bays; Remote workers and students can live on 16 of them, including Eleuthera (shown here).
Sylvain Sonnet | The image database | Getty Images
FTX executives Sam Bankman-Fried and Ryan Salame spent $256.3 million to purchase and operate 35 separate properties in New Providence, Bahamas, according to Bahamian attorneys.
Now Bahamas regulators are trying to recover the property from FTX’s US bankruptcy protection case, telling a federal judge in Delaware that under Bahamian law it would be both administratively ineffective and illegal to allow the property to be administered in US courts.
It’s the first real behind-the-scenes look at FTX’s massive real estate spend. Ten million was spent on the small island development that Bankman-Fried called home alone, with FTX’s holding company buying at least 15 properties and one vacant lot for a total of over $143 million.
Two of the largest apartments in this private development in Albany came in at a staggering $30 million; Another was purchased for just over $21.3 million.
Bankman-Fried and Salame also invested tens of millions of dollars in land for their current headquarters and invested over $25 million in purchases at the Veridian Corporate Center. In April, FTX broke ground on a new headquarters that has been on hold since the exchange filed for bankruptcy in November.
Now Bahamian regulators are fighting to get those assets back from FTX’s US leadership. In a filing Monday night, Bahamas attorneys asked a US judge to dismiss the Chapter 11 case for FTX’s real estate subsidiary. Bahamas attorneys told the court that since all property is located in the Bahamas and “Bahamian law does not permit the recognition of a foreign bankruptcy proceeding for a Bahamian corporation, the US bankruptcy proceedings should be stayed and the Bahamian regulators should do so.” “. take full control of the real estate process in the Bahamas.
It’s a move likely to draw headwinds from US attorneys and FTX CEO John J. Ray, who has pledged to accelerate the recovery for FTX clients both in the US and abroad through restructuring and asset sales maximize. US and Bahamian lawyers have clashed in court over jurisdiction, with each side berating the other.
FTX filed for bankruptcy protection on Nov. 11 after CoinDesk uncovered significant irregularities in the balance sheets of sister hedge fund Alameda Research. An eleventh-hour rescue by Binance eventually fell through, sparking a run on the bank and a stunning liquidity crisis for an exchange that had once been heralded as crypto’s saving grace.
Founder Bankman-Fried is now in prison in the Bahamas after US prosecutors dropped charges against him.
The crisis continues to loom across the crypto space. BlockFi filed for bankruptcy in November. Countless exchanges have either frozen or “paused” redemptions and withdrawals. Rumors are circulating as to which exchange, if any, will fall next, even as crypto firms appear to be releasing verified reserve records to boost investor confidence.