Crypto FTX: Behind the scenes of Sam Bankman-Fried's empire before its fall

The episode involving FTX will forever go down in crypto annals. Sam Bankman Fried is now the epitome of fraud: a version of Bernard Madoff in the cryptosphere. The spotlight is fixed on this ex-billionaire, scrutinizing the mysteries he conceals. Exclusive photos, unearthed by Bloomberg, lift the veil on the secret universe of Bankman-Fried, exposing unsuspected facets before the collapse of his empire. Let’s dive into the heart-pounding behind-the-scenes of SBF’s twilight.

A life of contrasts

The man who joked about taking naps on an ottoman at the office, Sam Bankman-Fried, was equally at home in the air, enjoying breaks in his private jet. The months since his indictment have revealed a disconcerting contrast between his public modesty and the extravagances hidden behind closed doors.

The massive fraud trial, scheduled for October 2, should unravel the threads of this complex story. US prosecutors allege Bankman-Fried embezzled billions of dollars in client deposits to fund a luxury lifestyle: private jets and a $30 million penthouse on an exclusive Bahamian estate.

Bloomberg got their hands on a photo series and videos from the last year before the collapse of FTX and Alameda Research, Bankman-Fried’s businesses. These documents offer an unprecedented window into his private sphere and the intimate circles that surrounded him, revealing scenes of opulent parties, political meetings and private jet travel.

The Public Image and the Hidden Scenes

This collection of images and videos sketches a glimpse into Bankman-Fried’s social life and inner circle, painting the portrait of a mathematician turned crypto mogul, navigating between different worlds with ease.

Photos from the 2021 Christmas party, close to FTX’s Bahamas headquarters, draw a stark contrast between festive jubilation and the downfall that will come months later.

In her office, Bankman-Fried shared moments with her trusty four-legged friend, Gopher, and her personal “decoration,” a box of depression patches. Images from his private jet, where he enjoys snacks and sports personalized hoodies, are a testament to his luxurious lifestyle.

Bankman-Fried’s privileged access to high-level political and business circles was a key part of his meteoric rise. Dinners with the likes of New York City Mayor Eric Adams and discussions with entrepreneurs like John Collison boosted his credibility and influence.

Indeed, Bloomberg has gotten its hands on a significant collection of photos and videos. The images of the imposing building “The Orchid”, located in the Albany district of Nassau where Bankman-Fried resided with his relatives and collaborators, thus symbolize the ups and downs of his career. A villa called “Conch Shack” also served as a meeting place for the team.

Overall, Sam preferred not to comment on these images. As the spotlight shines on the impending trial, the world eagerly awaits the unfolding of this complex saga. One certainty remains: the events related to the Bankman-Fried empire will leave an indelible mark on the history of cryptocurrency.

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