The founder and former CEO of collapsing crypto trader Sam Bankman-Fried is said to be engulfed by members of his inner circle in the Bahamas as his empire collapses around him.
Bankman-Fried, 30, resigned from FTX on Friday, as the crypto exchange filed for bankruptcy and reports that up to $2 billion in client funds had disappeared from the company’s books in recent weeks.
According to Coin Telegraph, the disgraced former CEO is holed up at Albany Tower along with FTX founder Gary Wang and the company’s head of engineering Nishad Singh.
It is not clear whether Wang, who is FTX’s Chief Technology Officer, and Singh, the company’s head of engineering, have also resigned from their positions at the crypto trader.
A source told Coin Telegraph: “Right now three of them, Sam, Gary and Nishad are under surveillance in the Bahamas, which means it will be difficult for them to leave.
The same source said it was Bankman-Fried’s plan to flee to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, a country with no extradition treaty, as the walls close in on him.
Sam Bankman-Fried, 30, resigned from FTX on Friday, as the crypto exchange filed for bankruptcy and reports indicated that up to $2 billion in client funds had disappeared from the company’s books in recent weeks
Bankman-Fried co-founder and FTX CTO Gary Wang and his director of engineering Nishad Singh reportedly teamed up with him in the Bahamas
The resort where Bankman-Fried is hiding is owned by golf legend Tiger Woods, British billionaire Joe Lewis and singer Justin Timberlake
There have been several rumors swirling around Bankman-Fried’s whereabouts since FTX collapsed. In various messages to reporters, he has denied escaping to Argentina on his private Gulf Stream jet.
The Wall Street Journal reported on November 9 that the US Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission were planning an investigation into FTX.
The source added that Bankman-Fried’s father, Joseph, is also present.
DailyMail.com has contacted Bankman-Fried for comment.
The resort where Bankman-Fried is hiding is owned by golf legend Tiger Woods, British billionaire Joe Lewis and singer Justin Timberlake.
A 2018 Forbes feature referred to Albany as “one of the most exclusive resorts in the world.” The article noted that the homes at the resort are owned by “some of the world’s wealthiest few” while also being vacation rentals.
The Coin Telegraph report also speculates that the group is being monitored by authorities in the Bahamas and will be banned from leaving the country.
There have been several rumors swirling around Bankman-Fried’s whereabouts since FTX collapsed. In various messages to reporters, he has denied escaping to Argentina.
Among the issues under investigation is the fact that Bankman-Fried had transferred $10 billion in FTX client funds to his trading company, Alameda Research.
The company is run by Bankman-Fried’s girlfriend, Caroline Ellison. According to her LinkedIn page, she is based in the Bahamas.
Coin Telegraph reports that Ellison is believed to be in Hong Kong at the time of writing. The site quotes a source as saying: “She might be able to make it to Dubai.”
Earlier, Internet sleuths discovered that $515 million has disappeared from FTX’s accounts under “suspicious circumstances.”
Nick Percoco, chief security officer of Kraken, was one of the industry officials who seemingly pieced together the situation. He said in a tweet: “We know the identity of the user” who withdrew the money from FTX.
FTX US General Counsel Ryne Miller then responded to that tweet: ‘Interested in anything you’re open to sharing. Can you contact me?
Enthusiasts invested in the manic crypto episode also took it upon themselves to scrutinize public records and find out who may have hacked or stolen millions of dollars.
At the time of writing, Percoco has not elaborated further on whether or not the withdrawal was the work of a hacker. Several reports have pointed out that the methods used to withdraw the money bear the hallmarks of a hacker.
Meanwhile, FTX’s new CEO John J. Ray III, known for guiding Enron through bankruptcy in the 2000s, said Saturday that the company was cooperating with law enforcement and regulators to mitigate the problem and was making every effort to secure all assets, where than is located.’
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried is holed up in the Bahamas following his resignation as CEO on Friday
Internet readers posted graphics online that showed evidence of money being withdrawn from FTX’s accounts
A graphic illustrating the falling price of Bitcoin
After the owner’s departure, the company turned to John J. Ray III, who is best known for guiding Enron through bankruptcy in the 2000s
FTX, the troubled cryptocurrency exchange, filed for bankruptcy after a stunning financial implosion that exposed concerns over its handling of client funds and shook broader crypto markets
“Among other things, we are removing the trading and withdrawal functionality,” he said.
It has been reported that Bankman-Fried, known for regularly wearing t-shirts and shorts, is holed up in the Bahamas as his empire continues to crumble.
In 2022, Bankman-Fried was one of the largest donors to the Democratic Party.
On Saturday, Ryne Miller said in a Twitter post that the company’s digital assets were moved to so-called cold storage “to mitigate damage from observing unauthorized transactions.”
Cold storage refers to crypto wallets that are not connected to the internet to protect themselves from hackers.
Miller previously tweeted that he was “investigating wallet movement abnormalities related to consolidation of FTX balances across exchanges.”
Much of that sum has since disappeared, they said. One source put the missing amount at about $1.7 billion. The other said the difference was between $1 billion and $2 billion.
Blockchain analytics firm Nansen said it saw $659 million in outflows from FTX International and FTX US in the past 24 hours.
A separate blockchain analytics firm Elliptic said about $515 million worth of crypto assets were “suspected to have been stolen,” while $186 million was likely moved to secure storage by FTX.
The company described the movement of the funds as “suspicious”.
Crypto exchange Kraken said: “We can confirm that our team is aware of the identity of the account associated with the ongoing FTX hack, and we are committed to working with law enforcement to ensure they have everything they need to adequately investigate this question.”
In its bankruptcy filing, FTX Trading said it has $10 to $50 billion in assets, $10 to $50 billion in liabilities and more than 100,000 creditors.
Ray, a restructuring expert, was appointed to take over as CEO.
Bankman-Fried, once hailed as the ‘poster boy’ of crypto, faces bankruptcy after company meltdown
FTX enjoyed the backing of major celebrities before a “liquidity crisis” precipitated its demise
A review of Bitcoin’s price shows the crypto’s volatile history
A document Bankman-Fried shared with investors on Thursday showed FTX had $13.86 billion in liabilities and $14.6 billion in assets, according to Reuters.
But only $900 million of those assets were liquid, leading to the cash crunch that ended with the company filing for bankruptcy.
In a tweet on Friday, Bankman-Fried said he was “pieceing together” what had happened at FTX.
“I was shocked to see things unravel the way they did earlier this week,” he wrote. “I will write a more complete play-by-play post soon.”
Bitcoin fell below $16,000 for the first time since 2020 after Binance abandoned its bailout deal for FTX on Wednesday.
On Saturday, it traded around $16,800, down more than 75% from the record high of $69,000 it hit last November.
FTX’s token FTT fell by around 91% this week. Shares of cryptocurrency and blockchain-related companies have also declined.
“We believe cryptocurrency markets remain too small and too muted to cause contagion in financial markets, with a market capitalization of $890 billion compared to US equities’ $41 trillion,” Citi analysts wrote.
“Over four years, FTX raised $1.8 billion from venture capital and pension funds. This is the primary way that financial markets can be affected, as it can have further minor implications for portfolio shocks in a volatile macro regime.
The U.S. securities regulator is investigating FTX.com’s handling of customer funds, as well as its crypto-lending business, a source with knowledge of the investigation said.
Hedge fund Galois Capital had half of its assets locked up in FTX, the Financial Times reported on Saturday, citing a letter from co-founder Kevin Zhou to investors and estimating the amount at about $100 million.
#FTX #founders #met #founders #CTO #luxury #resort #Bahamas