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Sam Bankman-Fried’s Parents Under Scrutiny in FTX Collapse


Mr. Bankman-Fried’s business and political empire was all the time a family affair. The FTX founder was a prolific political donor, and he was a part of a network of contributors who gave money to groups advisable by Mind the Gap, people conversant in the organization said. He also helped bankroll a nonprofit organization called Guarding Against Pandemics that was run by his 27-year-old brother, Gabe Bankman-Fried.

Mr. Bankman was deeply involved in FTX. In its early days, he helped the corporate recruit its first lawyers. Last 12 months, he joined FTX staff in meetings on Capitol Hill and advised his son as Mr. Bankman-Fried prepared to testify to the House Financial Services Committee, an individual conversant in the matter said. FTX employees occasionally consulted him on tax-related matters, the person said.

“From the beginning each time I used to be useful, I’d help,” Mr. Bankman said on an FTX podcast in August.

Mr. Bankman visited the FTX offices within the Bahamas as often as once a month, a one that saw him there said. Among the many much-younger staff, he cultivated an avuncular persona, regaling employees with stories from his son’s youth, the person said. He and Ms. Fried stayed in a $16.4 million house in Old Fort Bay, a gated community in Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas; the couple’s names appear on real estate documents, in accordance with Reuters, though Mr. Bankman-Fried has said the home was “intended to be the corporate’s property.”

Ms. Heller, the couple’s spokeswoman, said Mr. Bankman and Ms. Fried “never intended to and never believed they’d any helpful or economic ownership in the home.”

As an worker, Mr. Bankman focused on FTX’s charitable operations. He put together the Miami event, choosing the teams of highschool students who competed for $1 million in FTX grants.

Mr. Bankman also leveraged family connections to expand FTX’s reach. His sister, Barbara Miller, works in Florida as a political consultant and introduced him to Newton Sanon, the chief executive of OIC of South Florida, a nonprofit organization that helps individuals with work force development training to advertise economic mobility. (Ms. Miller didn’t reply to a request for comment.)

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