FIRST ON FOX: After allegedly robbing up to a million investors for billions of dollars worldwide, Fallen FTX crypto king Sam Bankman-Fried hides in an ultra-luxurious Bahamas resort, behind concrete walls and guarded checkpoints, a world apart from his customers as they scramble to recover lost assets.
The Albany Resort southwest of Nassau covers 600 acres of beachfront, with a “rare collection of amenities” that make it, according to the brochure, “a tranquil island getaway, a sportsman’s paradise, an elegant retreat and an authentic community”.
This is where the ultra-rich go to enjoy a tropical paradise uninterrupted by ordinary people.
Inside the exclusive compound, isolated from the public and with guards at land and sea entrances, members from around the world cruise palm-lined roads in golf carts as workers maintain yachts, l landscaping and indoor businesses.
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Bankman-Fried’s $40 million penthouse tops the Orchid Building, the southernmost tower on the west side of Albany’s mega marina. The six-story structure is shaped like a yacht itself, facing south out to sea, and maintenance costs were over $20,000.
On the lawn there is a copy of the Wall Street Charging Bull statue – cast by the creator of the original Arturo Di Modica and purchased by Joe Lewis, a billionaire co-owner from Albany who, according to the artist’s obituary of the New York Times, also purchased the New York City Sculpture on the condition that it would never be moved from its position at Bowling Green Park on Broadway.
A short walk away, in a beach house overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, is a replica of the Fearless Girl sculpture that was dropped in front of the bull in 2017 as part of a marketing campaign.
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The complex includes a marina for mega-yachts, a private school and a golf course designed by co-owner Ernie Els. In fact, the Albany is hosting the Hero World Challenge tournament there from December 1-4 to benefit the Tiger Woods Foundation.
The interior of the hotel is open to members only with rooms starting at $5,100 a night.
There are bars, lounges, restaurants, and even a bodega inside, stocked with household supplies, organic foods, and alcohol.
Residents can order Whole Foods Market groceries on special delivery, which are delivered to Fort Lauderdale and transported inside Albany once a week, according to the grocer’s website.
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Green spaces include seven pathways, for pedestrians, equestrians and cyclists, in addition to golf cart lanes, private roads and rows of multimillion-dollar housing. There is a dog park, equestrian center, Rolex store, and other high-end shops along the marina.
Forbes in 2019 called the Albany community “one of the most exclusive resorts in the world.” His ownership group includes Justin Timberlake, golfers Tiger Woods and Ernie Els and British billionaire financier Joe Lewis.
Els designed the world-class golf course on the property. There are also pools, tennis courts, a gym, and a spa, plus a small private theater and a CrossFit training center.
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Bankman-Fried has purchased additional condo units for an additional $32 million over the past few years, according to Reuters, increasing his Bahamas real estate holdings to at least 19 properties for about $121 million.
Bankman-Fried ignored questions from Fox News Digital about whether his purchases on New Providence Island were paid for with customer assets.
A handful of inner-circle executives lived with Bankman-Fried in Orchid Penthouse 6, which has a rooftop pool and a balcony with water views on three sides. According to previous property listings, it has five bedrooms, 7.5 bathrooms and a full size bar.
John Ray, who was named CEO of FTX after Bankman-Fried revealed his financial troubles, filed for bankruptcy and resigned, said in court documents that FTX and its dozens of sister companies lacked functional accounting and human resources departments, and Bankman-Fried received a $1 billion personal loan from one of his own businesses.
“Never in my career have I seen such a complete failure of corporate controls and such a complete absence of reliable financial reporting as has happened here,” he wrote, after graduating times that he had worked on the collapse of Enron, in a court filing this week. “From the compromised integrity of systems and faulty regulatory oversight overseas, to the concentration of control in the hands of a very small group of inexperienced, unsophisticated and potentially compromised individuals, this situation is unprecedented. “
During a hearing on Tuesday, the attorneys revealed that the Justice Department had also opened an investigation into the attempted FTX hacks and a “substantial” amount of company assets that went missing.
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FTX attorneys noted that the company, under its previous leadership, shelled out approximately $300 million on Bahamian real estate used by executives, and the company currently owes more than $3 billion to its 50 largest creditors. .
A spokesperson for Bankman-Fried’s parents, Stanford University law professors Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, told Reuters this week the couple were seeking to “return the deed” to a nearby property. from Old Fort Bay to FTX after bankruptcy. Old Fort Bay is a separate gated community, where Bankman-Fried’s parents were listed as signers of a property purchased with FTX funds, according to the Reuters report.
The parents were spotted with their son and several others on the balcony of the Bankman-Fried penthouse on Monday afternoon, a day after neighbors told Fox News Digital that the former FTX CEO had gone into hiding at inside and had barely been out since his company filed for bankruptcy earlier this month.
Bankman-Fried’s spending in Albany comes on top of lavish spending on contributions to U.S. political campaigns, catering for its employees, up to $10,000 a day at local restaurants, and a $60 million empty lot of dollars which was supposed to be the new headquarters of FTX. Despite the project’s inauguration earlier this year, it’s nothing more than a weedy fenced plot next to the ocean.
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Bankman-Fried has donated nearly $40 million to Democrats in 2021 and 2022, according to the Federal Election Commission, and also about $260,000 to Republican candidates.
In the Bahamas, his millions of dollars in donations to local charities and the island government prompted local media to report that his “tentacles stretch far” across the archipelago.
Breck Dumas, Thomas Catenacci and Greg Norman of Fox News contributed to this report.
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