Sam Bankman-Fried’s parents under surveillance in FTX collapse
Mr. Bankman-Fried’s business and political empire has always been a family affair. The FTX founder was a prolific political donor and was part of a network of contributors who donated money to groups recommended by Mind the Gap, people familiar with the organization said. He also helped fund a nonprofit called Guarding Against Pandemics, run by his 27-year-old brother, Gabe Bankman-Fried.
Mr. Bankman was deeply involved in FTX. In its early days, he helped the company recruit its first lawyers. Last year, he joined FTX staff at meetings on Capitol Hill and advised his son as Mr. Bankman-Fried prepared to testify before the House Financial Services Committee, a person familiar with the matter said. case. FTX employees occasionally consulted him on tax-related matters, the person said.
“Right from the start, whenever I was helpful, I was helping out,” Mr. Bankman said on an FTX podcast in August.
Mr Bankman visited FTX offices in the Bahamas up to once a month, said a person who saw him there. Among the much younger staff, he cultivated an avuncular personality, regaling employees with stories of his son’s youth, the person said. He and Ms. Fried stayed in a $16.4 million home in Old Fort Bay, a gated community in Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas; the couple’s names appear on property documents, according to Reuters, although Mr Bankman-Fried said the house was “intended to be company property”.
Ms Heller, the couple’s spokeswoman, said Mr Bankman and Ms Fried ‘never intended and never believed that they had any economic or beneficial ownership interest in the house’ .
As an employee, Mr. Bankman focused on FTX’s charitable operations. He organized the Miami event, selecting teams of high school students who competed for $1 million in FTX grants.
Mr. Bankman has also leveraged family connections to expand FTX’s reach. His sister, Barbara Miller, works in Florida as a policy consultant and introduced him to Newton Sanon, the chief executive of the OIC of South Florida, a nonprofit that helps people with development training. labor to promote economic mobility. (Ms. Miller did not respond to a request for comment.)