FIRST ON FOX: After reportedly wooing up to a million investors for billions of dollars around the world, fallen FTX crypto king Sam Bankman-Fried hides in an ultra-luxury resort in the Bahamas, behind concrete walls and guarded checkpoints, worlds apart from his clients as they scramble to recover lost possessions.
The Albany Resort southwest of Nassau occupies 600 waterfront acres, with a “rare collection of amenities” that make it, according to the brochure, “a tranquil island retreat, an athlete’s paradise, an elegant retreat and a true community.” .
To be where the ultra-rich go enjoy a tropical paradise without interruptions from ordinary people.
Within the exclusive compound, which is closed off from the public and has guards at land and sea entrances, members from around the world travel in golf carts along palm-lined roads while workers tend to the yachts, landscape and businesses within.
Bankman Fried’s $40 million penthouse stands at the top of 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, toward the sea, and maintenance costs were listed at more than $20,000.
On the lawn is a copy of Wall Street’s Charging Bull statue—cast by the creator of the original, Arturo Di Modica, and purchased by Joe Lewis, a billionaire co-owner of Albany who, according to the artist’s obituary, lived in the New York Times, the New York City Sculpture also provided that it never be moved from its position in Broadway’s Bowling Green park.
A few steps away, at a beach house overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, is a replica of the fearless girl sculpture placed in front of the bull in 2017 as part of a marketing campaign.
The resort features a mega marina, a private school and a designed golf course 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 hotel inside is member-only with rooms starting at $5,100 per night.
There are bars, lounges, restaurants, and even a bodega inside, stocked with housewares, organic foods, and alcohol.
Residents can order special delivery Whole Foods Market grocerieswhich, according to the grocer’s website, are delivered to Fort Lauderdale and shipped within Albany once a week.
Green spaces include seven trails, for pedestrians, equestrians and cyclists, in addition to golf carts, private roads and rows of multimillion-dollar residences. There is a dog park, riding school, Rolex store and other luxury boutiques along the marina.
Forbes called the Albany community “one of the most exclusive resorts in the world” in 2019. The ownership group includes Justin Timberlake, golfers Tiger Woods and Ernie Els, and billionaire British financier Joe Lewis.
Els designed the world-class golf course on site. There are also swimming pools, tennis courts, a gym and a spa, in addition to a small private theater and CrossFit training center.
Bankman-Fried bought additional apartments for another $32 million in recent years, according to Reuters, bringing his Bahamas real estate holdings to at least 19 properties for about $121 million.
Bankman-Fried ignored questions from Fox News Digital on whether its New Providence Island purchases were paid for with customer assets.
Bankman-Fried was home to a handful of inner circle executives at Orchid Penthouse 6, with a rooftop pool and wrap-around balcony with water views on three sides. According to previous real estate advertisements, it has five bedrooms, 7.5 bathrooms and a large bar.
John Ray, who was named CEO of FTX after Bankman-Fried revealed his financial problems, filed for bankruptcy and resigned, saying in court filings that FTX and its dozen sister companies lacked functional accounting and human resources departments, and that Bankman-Fried had received a $1 billion personal loan from one of its own companies.
“Never in my career have I seen such a complete failure of corporate controls and such a complete absence of reliable financial information as here,” he wrote, after twice remarking that he had worked on Enron’s collapse, in a lawsuit this week. “From compromised system integrity and deficient regulatory oversight abroad to the concentration of control in the hands of a very small group of inexperienced, inexperienced and potentially compromised individuals, this situation is unprecedented.”
At a hearing Tuesday, lawyers revealed that the Justice Department has also opened an investigation into FTX hacking attempts and a “substantial” portion of the company’s assets that have disappeared.
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FTX attorneys noted that, under the previous management, the company spent approximately $300 million on executive-occupied Bahamas real estate, and that the company currently owes its largest 50 creditors more than $3 billion.
A spokesperson for Bankman-Fried’s parents, Stanford University law professors Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried told Reuters this week that after the bankruptcy, the couple wanted to return “the deed” to a nearby Old Fort Bay estate to FTX. Old Fort Bay is a separate gated community, where Bankman-Fried’s parents were listed as signers of property purchased with FTX funds, according to the Reuters report.
The parents were seen with their son and several other individuals on the balcony of Bankman-Fried’s penthouse on Monday afternoon, a day after neighbors told Fox News Digital that the former FTX CEO had crouched inside and had barely come out since his company filed for bankruptcy earlier this month.
Bankman-Fried’s Albany spending is in addition to lavish spending American political campaign contributions, catering for its employees, to the tune of $10,000 a day from local restaurants, and a $60 million vacant lot that would become FTX’s new headquarters. Despite breaking ground earlier this year, the project is nothing more than a fenced off patch of weed next to the ocean.
Bankman-Fried almost donated $40 million to Democrats in 2021 and 2022, according to the Federal Election Commission, as well as about $260,000 to Republican candidates.
In the Bahamas, his multimillion-dollar donations to local charities and the islands’ government led local media to report that his “tentacles stretched far” across the archipelago.
Fox News’ Breck Dumas, Thomas Catenacci and Greg Norman contributed to this report.