Sam Bankman-Fried spent a fortune. Now, lawyers say 'the emperor had no clothes.' Here's where the money went.
At his peak, Sam Bankman-Fried's net worth was $26 billion.
He spent his money on properties, political donations, and funding sports teams.
Here's a list of many of the places where Bankman-Fried is reported to have spent his money.
Sam Bankman-Fried told Bloomberg in April that years down the road, he'd subsist on $100,000 a year — that's it.
He'd keep a small percentage of the billions he had generated from his cryptocurrency empire and donate the rest.
Bankman-Fried billed himself as an effective altruist, a person who would rack up stacks of money — or coins— to one day put it all toward the betterment of the world. And he donated money to several organizations founded on the principles of so-called effective altruism.
But Bankman-Fried also wrote out big checks to sports teams, property owners, and political leaders. His spending appeared to reflect a desire to buy influence as much as it has reflected his philosophical beliefs.
It all came crashing down in early November, when Bankman-Fried saw the bulk of his net worth drop from $15.6 billion to $1 billion in a single day — after news broke that his cryptocurrency exchange, FTX, needed a bailout.
Now, it's come out that as much as $2 billion in customer funds are missing — and questions are arising over just how Bankman-Fried bankrolled his high-end lifestyle, with lawyers now arguing that the former mogul, known as SBF, appeared to have run FTX like a "personal fiefdom."
Those lawyers are helping guide FTX through the bankruptcy process, where customers hope they can recover at least some of their funds after FTX filed for bankruptcy and Bankman-Fried stepped down as CEO.
Some of those customer funds — possibly $300 million — might have found their way to the Bahamas to buy pricey homes for FTX executives, lawyers have argued.
Sullivan & Cromwell restructuring partner James Brumley, a lawyer on FTX's bankruptcy team, told a US court this week that "substantial amounts of money were spent on things not related to the business," a recording of the Tuesday hearing reviewed by Insider showed.
A team of lawyers is now working to track down FTX's assets to start repaying the firm's creditors. The company's new CEO, John J. Ray III, a lawyer who's guiding it through bankruptcy, said Tuesday that FTX would reorganize or sell FTX's assets around the world and had already received interest from potential buyers.
Meanwhile, Bankman-Fried will likely not be making major donations any time soon. Here's a list of how he spent some of his once-massive fortune.
FTX spent around $300 million buying houses in the Bahamas for senior executives, according to a bankruptcy lawyer.
Sullivan & Cromwell restructuring partner James Bromley, a lawyer on FTX's bankruptcy team, said that one of the US arms of the company "purchased almost $300 million worth of real estate in the Bahamas."
Bankman-Fried reportedly lived with 10 roommates in a 600-acre ocean-front property in New Providence, Bahamas known as Albany.
Bankman-Fried has invested in a handful of media companies, according to Crunchbase. He invested in Semafor, a news startup launched by former New York Times columnist Ben Smith and former Bloomberg Media CEO Justin Smith.
Smith, the site's editor-in-chief, has acknowledged the investment and has said it will continue to cover Bankman-Fried "aggressively" and disclose his stake every time the site writes about him.
Meanwhile, Bankman-Fried provided seed funding to Trustless Media, a production company at the intersection of Web3 and television production. Bankman-Fried also donated $5 million to investigative news outlet ProPublica, according to the AP.
Bankman-Fried also poured money into several startups through FTX, its research arm Alameda Research, and as an angel investor, according to Crunchbase.
Those include financial technology companies like TrueFi and Chipper Cash, crypto platforms like Liquid Global, and blockchain companies like Faraway, which makes games.
Bankman-Fried spent more than $10 million backing Joe Biden's presidential campaign, according to Politico.
In 2022 alone, he spent more than $40 million on campaigns, according to Federal Election Committee filings reviewed by Politico.
He also gave $1 million to the Senate Majority PAC and $6 million to the House Majority PAC— two super PACs that are dedicated to keeping Congress in the hands of Democrats, according to The Los Angeles Times.
Bankman-Fried has made philanthropic donations, too. While working at Jane Street he gave half his money to so-called effective altruism charities, and also to animal welfare groups, according to Bloomberg.
He gave away $50 million in 2021 to pandemic relief in India and anti-global warming initiatives Bloomberg reported.
He's also made COVID-19 prevention a top issue as the principal funder of Guarding Against Pandemics, a nonprofit run by his brother Gabe, according to Politico.
In his new home country of the Bahamas he donated $1.4 million worth of K95 masks and COVID-19 testing kits, according to the Nassau Guardian.
His most notable sports sponsorship is acquiring naming rights for the Miami Heat's arena. The original deal was slated to cost him $135 million over 19 years, according to Bloomberg. While the deal has been called off since FTX filed for bankruptcy, FTX is still required to pay three years worth of contract fees for a total of $16.5 million, according to CoinDesk.
He also spent about $30 million airing an ad in the 2022 Super Bowl featuring comedian Larry David, Bloomberg also reported.
Since June 2021, FTX has been the "Official Cryptocurrency Exchange brand of MLB." That means all Major League Baseball umpires wear a patch with FTX's logo.
Through FTX, Bankman-Fried has also forged deals with major basketball teams like the Washington Wizards and Golden State Warriors. FTX has also struck deals with individual athletes like basketball player Steph Curry and quarterback Tom Brady.
FTX even signed a $17.5 million deal with the University of California-Berkeley to sponsor its athletic department.
Read a full list of all of Bankman-Fried's sports sponsorships.
Read the original article on Business Insider