The Places That Sam Bankman-Fried Left Behind

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By Ketrin Agustine

The Places That Sam Bankman-Fried Left Behind

Before his FTX crypto exchange imploded and he went on trial for fraud, Mr. Bankman-Fried ran a global business empire spanning Berkeley, Calif., Hong Kong and the Bahamas.

Before it all collapsed last fall, the cryptocurrency mogul Sam Bankman-Fried was at the center of a global business empire.

The 31-year-old mogul started his first company in the San Francisco Bay Area, before moving to Hong Kong and then to the Bahamas, where his FTX cryptocurrency exchange was based until it filed for bankruptcy in November. Along the way, Mr. Bankman-Fried left his mark on luxury homes in Washington and on the Bahamian island of New Providence, and splashed FTX’s logo on a basketball arena in Miami.

Mr. Bankman-Fried is now on trial in federal court in Manhattan, where he faces seven counts of wire fraud, securities fraud and money laundering.

Here are some of the places he left behind.

The Berkeley. Calif., building that housed the offices of Alameda Research, a trading firm that Mr. Bankman-Fried founded. Alameda’s offices were on the now-vacant fourth floor of the building, which is across the street from Berkeley City Hall.Jim Wilson/The New York Times

Mr. Bankman-Fried ran his first company, the crypto hedge fund Alameda Research, out of a four-story office building in Berkeley, Calif. He often slept at work, curling up on a beanbag chair.

Mr. Bankman-Fried later ran his crypto hedge fund from an office in Hong Kong. Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times

In 2019, Mr. Bankman-Fried moved Alameda to Hong Kong, where the regulatory environment was friendlier to crypto companies. He soon started a new company, FTX, which people could use to buy and sell cryptocurrencies.

Rebecca Blackwell/Associated Press
Cristobal Herrera-Ulashkevich/EPA, via Shutterstock

As FTX grew, Mr. Bankman-Fried invested heavily in marketing and courted celebrity endorsements. In 2021, he signed a 19-year, $135 million deal to rename the Miami Heat’s basketball venue FTX Arena. The deal was canceled after FTX filed for bankruptcy.

Mr. Bankman-Fried funded the purchase of a luxurious townhouse in Washington that served as the headquarters of a nonprofit run by his younger brother, Gabe. The house was the base for FTX’s lobbying operation in Washington.Shuran Huang for The New York Times

Mr. Bankman-Fried was a force in political fund-raising. He bought a $3 million luxury townhouse in Washington to serve as the base for his political operations — and as a headquarters for a nonprofit run by his younger brother, Gabe Bankman-Fried.

The corporate center where FTX’s offices were located in Nassau.Marco Bello for The New York Times

FTX employees worked out of a set of small offices nestled among palm trees in the Bahamas. Within days of the company’s collapse, employees headed for the airport, leaving the once-bustling offices empty.

Another view of the lot in Nassau where Mr. Bankman-Fried planned to build FTX’s headquarters.Marco Bello for The New York Times

Mr. Bankman-Fried had planned to build a huge new headquarters for FTX in the Bahamas. Now the lot where the office was supposed to be built stands empty.

The entrance to Albany, a luxury complex in the Bahamas where Mr. Bankman-Fried lived in a penthouse with his closest advisers.Eva Marie Uzcategui for The New York Times
The beach next to the Albany resort.Eva Marie Uzcategui for The New York Times

While he was in the Bahamas, Mr. Bankman-Fried lived in Albany, a luxury apartment complex in New Providence. He shared a five-bedroom penthouse with other FTX executives. Three of them — Nishad Singh, Gary Wang and Caroline Ellison — have pleaded guilty to fraud and agreed to testify against him at trial.

After his arrest in December, Mr. Bankman-Fried made his first court appearance at the Magistrate Court in Nassau.Eva Marie Uzcategui for The New York Times

One of Mr. Bankman-Fried’s last stops in the Bahamas was a bright pink courthouse in the capital of Nassau. He was taken there after his arrest in December, before he was extradited to face charges in the United States.


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