Sam Bankman-Fried met with Bahamas prime minister to discuss paying off the ... trends now
The disgraced crypto protégé held talks with Philip Davis about how the island's infrastructure could be improved as he hoped to set up offices and relocate his employees to the Caribbean island, according to author Michael Lewis.
He decided he wanted to move some 40 employees out of FTX's Hong Kong office in response to a crackdown on cryptocurrencies by the Chinese government, Lewis writes in Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon.
'The good thing about the Bahamas, from Sam's point of view, was that it had created regulations, which the United States had not, to legitimize a crypto futures exchange,' Lewis wrote in an published by The Sunday Times.
Bankman-Fried, 31, is currently on trial in a Manhattan court over allegedly embezzling FTX customers in order to prop up his hedge fund Alameda Research, buy luxury properties and donate more than $100 million to US political candidates.
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried met with the Bahamas Prime Minister Philip Davis to discuss paying off the country's debt
After he was elected, SBF was the first person Bahamas Prime Minister Philip Davis (pictured) wanted to meet
Bahamas Prime Minister Philip Davis (center) and Sam Bankman-Fried (third from the right) are photographed at the groundbreaking of the FTX headquarters
The Bahamian economy suffered during the coronavirus pandemic and lacked the infrastructure Bankman-Fried required to build his cryptocurrency empire.
Bankman-Fried built a nearly $300 million property portfolio in the Bahamas, including a $16.4 million vacation home for his parents and a $30 million luxury penthouse for himself and colleagues.
According to Lewis, the FTX founder was trying to entice 40 employees, many whom had grown up in China, to move 9,000 miles away.
'Sam explained that he was trying to decide whether simply to pay off the $9 billion Bahamas national debt himself, so the country could fix roads and build schools and so on,' wrote Lewis.
In 2021, the Bahamas had national debt of around 103 percent of its gross domestic product, approximately $11.6 billion, data from the International Monetary Fund found. The most recent IMF data said the country's debt is around $11.8 billion.
Lewis revealed that one of the prime minister's aides told him after Davis was elected in 2021, SBF was the first person he wanted to met.
Best-selling author of 'The Big Short,' Lewis met with Bankman-Fried more than 100 times over two years according to CBS News.
Bankman-Fried purchased a $30 million luxury