16 Nov 2022 By theguardian
Sam Bankman-Fried, the crypto trader entrepreneur at the center of the FTX scandal, reportedly put his luxury $40m Bahamas penthouse up for sale on Friday - the same day the cryptocurrency exchange filed for bankruptcy.
Bankman-Fried's penthouse - "the Orchid", located in Albany, an exclusive private community in Nassau - was listed by real estate agent Seaside Bahamas at $39,500,000. The offering was first reported on Twitter by Autism Capital.
Bankman-Fried, 30, is believed to have lost close to $16bn overnight eight days ago and is now facing investigation by US authorities. FTX was frozen by Bahamian regulators on Friday. Reports suggest at least $1bn in investor assets are missing.
A real estate broker for the 12,000-sq ft, five-bedroom residence said on Monday the penthouse was put up for sale in the last week but declined to name the owner. The news outlet Semafor, which counts Bankman-Fried as an investor, said current and former FTX employees confirmed ownership.
Calls to Seaside Bahamas went unanswered on Monday; the property appears to have been sold to Bankman-Fried by another property company, Graham Properties, in March this year. A spokesman for Graham said they were not authorized to discuss the sale.
According to the listing, the Orchid was designed by the high-end New York firm Morris Ajmi Architects, and it overlooks the Albany marina and the Atlantic Ocean.
"The marina residences of Albany are considered the ultimate in luxury waterfront living in the Caribbean of which the penthouse in Orchid is the cornerstone," the listing says.
The apartment, it continues, "hosts a sumptuous master bedroom suite with his and her bathrooms and walk-in closets plus a private balcony with lounge area and spa" with another four en suite bedrooms, a grand living room with dining area open to an outdoor pool, a private garage and an elevator.
"Every aspect of the penthouse was meticulously designed with Venetian plaster walls matching Italian marble accents throughout, German engineered doors and windows, and wired throughout for sound," the prospectus says.
It is also listed as being sold furnished, with its own water purification and standby generator, and comes fully fenced and walled with 24-hour security.
Bankman-Fried and senior FTX executives worked in the penthouse. The luxe environment appears to undercut Bankman-Fried's public image of an unkempt crypto nerd who slept on a beanbag under his desk at the office.
That image, hedge fund managers and crypto investors have told the Guardian, was largely a feint that the media and political figures lapped up in part because it conformed to their expectations of the savant tech bro.
"We have this fascination of the entrepreneur who sleeps under his desk - the whizz-kid Mark Zuckerberg phenomenon," Josh Peck, a crypto fund manager, told the Guardian last week. "It's really a survivorship bias" - a judgment error when a successful subgroup is mistaken as an entire group - "and there are a lot of guys who sleep on beanbags who don't make billions of dollars."
According to news reports, Bankman-Fried has been looking to liquidate different holdings in recent days. The Financial Times reported that he was shopping his $472m stake in the publicly traded brokerage Robinhood for a 20% discount.