For a man whose $32billion empire imploded overnight in one of history’s biggest financial meltdowns, Sam Bankman-Fried looks understandably agitated – in world exclusive DailyMail.com pictures.
The former CEO of crashed crypto exchange FTX was seen anxiously running his hands through his trademark mop of curly dark hair at the end of what appeared to be a 45-minute meeting on the expansive balcony of his $40million penthouse in the Bahamas.
It is the first time he has been officially spotted since the digital currency world was rocked by his firm’s astonishing and instant collapse.
Bankman-Fried – or SBF as he likes to be known – often fidgeted as he sat outside with a woman and a casually-dressed man around a low table for earnest-looking discussions on Monday afternoon.
The 30-year-old crypto whizz kid-turned-pariah, whose personal $16billion fortune vanished in the cataclysmic crash, looked typically disheveled in a black t-shirt, black shorts and with bare feet.
Yet despite facing possible criminal charges with FTX owing 50 of its biggest creditors more than $3billion, Bankman-Fried still appears to be luxuriating in the trappings of wealth.
Exclusive DailyMail.com photos show disgraced FTX boss Sam Bankman-Fried looking stressed on the balcony of his $40million penthouse in the Bahamas
This is the first time Bankman-Fried has been seen since his $32billion empire crumbled. The former CEO of crashed crypto exchange FTX was seen anxiously running his hands through his trademark mop of curly dark hair
The 30-year-old looked disheveled in a black t-shirt, black shorts and with bare feet as he held a 45-minute meeting on the balcony of his luxury penthouse where he’s been hunkering down
Despite Bankman-Fried facing possible criminal charges with FTX owing 50 of its biggest creditors more than $3billion, he still appears to be luxuriating in the trappings of wealth
The 7,500 sqft penthouse at the Albany club boasts five bedrooms and 7.5 bathrooms
Bankman-Fried – or SBF as he likes to be known – often fidgeted as he sat outside with a woman and a casually-dressed man around a low table for earnest-looking discussions on Monday afternoon
The trio sat around a table and the former crypto king looked anxious as he hooked his legs underneath him on the chair
The 30-year-old crypto whizz kid-turned-pariah’s personal $16billion fortune vanished in the cataclysmic crypto crash
The barefoot billionaire cast his head down and looked glum as the meeting ended and he headed back inside the penthouse
He strolled on the terrace through magnificent circular doors with the two associates, whose identities are not immediately known
The failed tycoon emerged at around 3pm on the terrace of the stunning penthouse, which occupies the entire top floor of an ocean-front apartment block in the ultra-exclusive development of The Albany on the island of New Providence.
With 7,500 square feet, five bedrooms, 7.5 bathrooms and a pool directly in front of the master suite, it is the jewel in one of the highly-secure community’s landmark buildings, The Orchid.
Prosecutors in the Department of Justice’s Southern District of New York have reportedly opened a probe into FTX, which last year switched its HQ from Hong Kong to the Bahamas where financial controls are less rigid
It is not known if SBF has been staying at the apartment all the time since FTX filed for bankruptcy protection on November 11, after it buckled under the pressure of traders rushing to withdraw $6billion in 72 hours.
But he is said to be hunkered down at the pad while he reportedly battles to secure a long-shot multi-billion-dollar bailout of the crypto currency exchange he co-founded just three years ago.
The MIT graduate shared the property with a ‘polycule’ of his nerdy college pals-turned FTX employees, including rumored on-off lover Caroline Ellison – allegedly enjoying polyamorous sexual relations and marathon video game sessions.
On Monday, he strolled on to the terrace through magnificent circular doors with the two associates, whose identities are not immediately known.
The trio headed to sit around a table and the former crypto king looked anxious as he hooked his legs underneath him on the chair.
At one point he thrust his arms up into the air. At another, he allowed himself a rare smile, a mood unlikely to be shared by investors caught up in his financial debacle.
The woman, dressed in a white top and black pants, also smiled at times while it was unclear about the mood of the other man, who was wearing a white shirt and khaki shorts.
After getting up to end the meeting, SBF cast his head down and looked glum as he used his right hand to run his hand through his mop of unruly hair in an apparent gesture of frustration.
The apartment has also been a base for the disgraced former CEO’s parents, both law professors at prestigious Stanford University.
And it would appear they are also shouldering the burden of their son’s current predicament.
Bankman-Fried’s FTX snapped up 19 properties worth $121million before his crypto empire fell, including a $16million vacation home for his parents.
His father Joseph Bankman, 67, was spotted on the terrace on Saturday, pacing up and down the terrace while talking animatedly into his cell phone and gesticulating with his hands
His mother Barbara was seen on the terrace as well, at one point helping to direct maintenance workers at the apartment
The apartment has also been a base for the disgraced former CEO’s parents, both law professors at prestigious Stanford University
Other unidentified people at the penthouse include a man wearing an FTX branded shirt and a visibly distraught man working on a laptop on the balcony
At one point, SBF allowed himself a rare smile, a mood unlikely to be shared by investors caught up in his financial debacle
His father Joseph Bankman, 67, was spotted on the terrace on Saturday, pacing up and down the terrace while talking animatedly into his cell phone and gesticulating with his hands. He and wife Barbara were both seen on preceding days – at one point helping to direct maintenance workers at the apartment.
Images and a video of Bankman-Fried in the gated 600-acre Albany resort complex have been posted on social media, although it is not known when they were taken.
One is footage of the back view of what undoubtedly looks like the crypto failure running off, with his hair and a black backpack bouncing as he speeds away along a sidewalk of the community.
The Albany is a 17-mile drive from the Bahamian capital Nassau, near the picturesque south-western tip of New Providence. SBF’s main team before the collapse had set up in a now shuttered office park in the stunning Lyford Cay area about four miles north.
In April the company broke ground on a planned $60million campus on the north side of Nassau overlooking the ocean, with plans to include a 38-room hotel. The site is currently gated off.
SBF’s somber mood on Monday could reasonably be deemed a reflection not only of the financial catastrophe he created but also the legal peril he now faces. It also illustrates the staggering speed of the downfall of a man whose net worth peaked at $26billion.
Prosecutors in the Department of Justice’s Southern District of New York have reportedly opened a probe into FTX, which last year switched its HQ from Hong Kong to the Bahamas where financial controls are less rigid.
It is also believed US authorities have been in talks with counterparts in Nassau, who it is reported have SBF ‘under observation’.
The 30-year-old’s penthouse is at the Albany marina. He set up the company’s headquarters there in The Bahamas
The penthouse boasts five bedrooms, with the master suite having walk-in closets and a private balcony with a lounge and spa area
The property has a family entertainment room, kitchen with a separate bar and an outdoor BBQ alcove with seating
The opulent residence includes a grand living room with an open dining area and a stunning outdoor pool
One key to any criminal proceedings could be the alleged secret transfer of $10billion by Bankman-Fried of FTX customer money to affiliated trading firm Alameda, run by Stanford graduate Ellison, 28.
Some legal experts believe this could put him in danger of wire fraud accusations – with the prospect of a 20-year jail term.
But images of the FBI or Bahamian authorities smashing down the door to his penthouse are reportedly wide of the mark.
‘What I expect to happen is that he will turn himself in after negotiations with lawyers,’ white collar crime defense attorney Sandra Hanna told Fortune magazine.
She added the disgraced guru – who took the stage at a crypto conference in the Bahamas in April with ex-president Bill Clinton and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair – might not be detained at first.
Instead, the $40million donor to the Democratic Party might be ordered to hand over his passport and wear a monitoring device.
The growing threat of a criminal investigation comes after the veteran financial ‘clean-up’ expert drafted in to replace him as CEO branded FTX the most badly run firm he had ever seen.
John Ray III, whose 40 years of experience include dealing with the Enron collapse, painted a picture of corporate chaos amid SBF’s bizarre management style – which included him playing video games during crucial meetings.
‘Never in my career have I seen such a complete failure of corporate controls and such a complete absence of trustworthy information as occurred here,’ he said in a ruthless court filing.
‘From compromised systems integrity and faulty regulatory oversight abroad, to the concentration of control in the hands of a very small group of inexperienced, unsophisticated and potentially compromised individuals, this situation is unprecedented.’
He added a ‘substantial portion’ of assets held by FTX may be ‘missing or stolen’, adding he understood corporate funds of the FTX Group were used to buy homes in the Bahamas and personal items for employees and advisors.
The value of Bitcoin against the US dollar has tanked since it became clear that FTX was in serious trouble. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on November 11
‘I understand that there does not appear to be documentation for certain of these transactions and loans, and that certain real estate was recorded in the personal name of these employees and advisors on the records of the Bahamas,’ he continued.
Ray also blasted Bankman-Fried for making ‘erratic and misleading public statements – including one where he stated to a reporter on Twitter: ‘F*** regulators, they just make everything worse’.
The new CEO’s statements about property purchases might explain Bankman-Fried’s continued presence in the penthouse, while all FTX’s assets have been frozen.
He snapped up the ritzy pad in 2021 following the company move. Billed as the ‘ultimate in waterfront living’, it is situated in a prime site overlooking the ocean and the yacht inlet at The Albany.
The complex was founded in 2010 by British billionaire Joe Lewis with investment from golf legend Tiger Woods and singer-turned-actor Justin Timberlake. Security is so tight you cannot get a reservation at one of the resort’s exclusive restaurants unless invited by someone who lives there.