Sam Bankman-Fried claims he doesn’t know how the $16.4 million mansion in the Bahamas came to be listed under his parents’ name, insisting it was intended to house employees of the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX.
“I don’t know the details of the house for my parents,” Bankman-Fried told The New York Times’ Andrew Ross Sorkin via Zoom at the DealBook Summit in New York on Wednesday.
“I know it’s not meant to be their long-term possession. It was supposed to be the property of the company. I don’t know how it got written down.”
Bankman-Fried’s parents, Stanford University law professors Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, are listed as homeowners in a gated community in the Bahamas.
Property records described the home as a “vacation home,” according to Reuters, which was the first to report the news.
The home was part of a major $121 million outlay by the Bankman-Fried Company for expensive real estate on the island.
A spokeswoman for the couple told Reuters they had been in the process of returning the documents related to the house to FTX for a long time.
“They may have stayed there for the past year while working with the company,” Bankman-Fried told Ross Sorkin at the DealBook Summit.
Bankman-Fried said Wednesday that “a lot of property has been bought in the Bahamas.”
The homes, he said, are designed to house the many Silicon Valley workers who have moved to the Bahamas to work for FTX.
“We tried to encourage that and make sure they had an easy way to make a comfortable living,” Bankman-Fried said.
On Wednesday, she told Ross Sorkin that she no longer lives in her $40 million luxury penthouse in the Bahamas. Earlier, it was reported that Bankman-Fried was among 10 FTX employees who lived together in the residence.
“I don’t live there now,” Bankman-Fried said Wednesday.
“I haven’t lived there long.”
Bankman-Fried, who had an estimated net worth of $16 billion before FTX filed for bankruptcy, also claimed on Wednesday that he only had $100,000 left in his bank account after the implosion of his cryptocurrency empire.
Since his company’s collapse shocked investors and left creditors with billions of dollars in losses, he has tried to distance himself from allegations of fraud when he first went public.
Bankman-Fried said she spoke at the DealBook Summit against the advice of her lawyers.
He said he knowingly did not commingle client funds at FTX with funds at his trading firm, Alameda Research.
The liquidity crisis at FTX occurred after Bankman-Fried secretly transferred $10 billion of FTX client funds to Alameda Research, Reuters reported, citing two people familiar with the matter.
At least $1 billion in customer funds were lost, the people said.