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- FTX went bankrupt last November after it didn’t have enough money to meet customer withdrawals.
- That was partly thanks to excessive spending on luxury real estate, hotels, and a yacht, court filings show.
- The wildest expenses also include $400k on DoorDash and $600k at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville.
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Bankruptcy lawyers said Alameda “bought planes, houses, threw parties, made political donations” with a $65 billion line of credit at FTX.
The vast sums are hard to visualize, but it was partly thanks to this spending that customers have been left out of pocket.
From DoorDash and Margaritaville to lavish penthouses and commercials, here are the wildest expenses to be revealed in FTX’s bankruptcy case:
Court documents filed last December showed that FTX owns 35 properties in the Bahamas, where its head office was based, to the tune of $256.3 million.
That included 15 multi-million dollar condos at the Albany Resort, where Bankman-Fried lived in a $30 million penthouse until his arrest.
The luxury oceanside community has its own marina, and a golf course, which has hosted the PGA Tour.
Bahamian officials have been trying to claim back the properties since the crypto exchange went bankrupt, saying that FTX Property Holding Ltd had no business dealings besides holding real estate in the Caribbean nation.
In just nine months, FTX spent $15.4 million on luxury hotels and accommodation in the Bahamas, according to court documents seen by Insider.
The largest chunk of that sum, around $5.8 million, was spent at the Albany Hotel. According to Fortune, accommodation at the resort can cost as much as $60,000 per night in high season.
$3.6 million went to the Grand Hyatt, a 4-star hotel where the cheapest room costs $369 a night. The company also spent $800,000 at the five-star Rosewood, where one night costs at least $1,100.
Shaquille O’Neal starred in an FTX commercial last June, but after its bankruptcy said he was “just a paid spokesperson” and doesn’t believe in crypto.
Forbes reported that lawyers were struggling to find the 7-foot-1 NBA hall-of-famer to serve documents for a lawsuit in relation to the advertisement, after disappearing for four weeks.
But the former Los Angeles Laker resurfaced on Sunday, posting a picture in a hospital bed after a hip replacement.
Court filings seen by Insider show that Shaq’s company was paid $2.5 million by FTX US.
Before stepping down as Alameda co-CEO last August, John Samuel Trabucco bought property worth $10 million in cash, as well as a 52-foot yacht that he called “Soak My Deck,” per Protos.
Court documents filed this month show he transferred $2.5 million from Alameda to American Yacht Group in March 2022, with the cited reason “for the benefit of John Samuel Trabucco.”
A little over a month after his departure from the company, Trabucco tweeted: “Why are journalists so excited to make my stepping down about something other than a desire to go fast over the nice water.”
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In November, Insider reported that Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville beach resort in the Bahamas was seeking just over $55,000 from Alameda.
But documents filed earlier this month show that the crypto trading firm actually spent more than ten times that amount. The oceanside resort named after the singer’s hit single is now claiming $599,409.
Margaritaville staff previously told Bloomberg that the company had around 20 suites for staff, and a shuttle bus took them to the office on the other side of New Providence island.
Former FTX employees told the Financial Times that the crypto exchange made a deal with an air carrier to fly all their Amazon orders over from a Miami depot.
The 180-mile flights were apparently necessary because executives realized Amazon didn’t deliver to the Bahamas after moving FTX’s head office there from Hong Kong in 2021.
It isn’t entirely clear just how much this cost the company, but court filings seen by Insider show that between January and September 2022, $3.9 million was spent on flights, plus over $500,000 for “postage and delivery.”
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In just a matter of months, FTX spent $357,526 on DoorDash. Bankruptcy court filings show two bills were paid in May and July 2022, but the food delivery company is also seeking $46,239 from Alameda.
Former employees told the Financial Times that FTX US gave employees $200 of DoorDash food credits a day.
The app’s most expensive meal available for delivery to FTX’s Berkeley, California office was a $59 New York strip steak and lobster from Japanese restaurant Hana. That means that in theory every employee could have had three such meals a day, charged to the company.
DoorDash confirmed to Insider that FTX US was a customer of “DoorDash for Work, our employee benefit product.”
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The most eye-watering sum of them all is the total amount paid from company coffers to the accounts of FTX and Alameda executives – $3.2 billion.
The majority of that, $2.2 billion, went to SBF himself, lawyers handling the bankruptcy case said.
$587 million went to Nishad Singh, FTX’s former director of engineering, and $246 million went to Zixiao “Gary” Wang, Bankman-Fried’s cofounder.
Then there was a further $87 million to Ryan Salame, FTX’s co-CEO, and $25 million to John Samuel Trabucco – while Alameda co-CEO Caroline Ellison took home $6 million.
Salame and Singh donated millions of dollars to politicians ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, but a criminal indictment unsealed last month said that those donations were actually Bankman-Fried’s doing.
He didn’t want to be known as partisan, so he instructed the two executives instead to donate money to certain candidates and political organizations, prosecutors wrote in the filing.