Gabriel Bankman-Fried, the brother of former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, had a plan to survive a global disaster using funds from the now defunct cryptocurrency exchange.
According to a July 20 filing with the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, San Gabriel planned to buy the island nation of Nauru in the Pacific using allegedly misappropriated funds through the FTX Foundation. Projects with the charity “that served little purpose other than to enhance Defendants’ public stature,” according to court documents, included a $300,000 book grant on “the utility of humans” as well as a $400,000 grant to a YouTuber.
However, one of Gabriel’s plans included preparing for a possible apocalypse by buying Nauru, an island northeast of Australia with a population of about 12,000 as of 2023. According to a memo between Gabriel and an unnamed officer of the FTX Foundation, he planned to establish a bunker to get through “some event where 50% of the people died. [to] ensure that most EAs [effective altruists] survive” and build a laboratory focused on “human genetic enhancement.”
“There are probably also other things that it is useful to do with a sovereign country,” the memo said, referring to the planned acquisition.
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Before the fall of FTX in November 2022, Gabriel founded Guarding Against Pandemics, a non-profit organization aimed at preparing for the coming COVID-19. He reportedly stepped down from his position as executive director of the organization amid the cryptocurrency exchange’s bankruptcy.
Sam Bankman-Fried’s first criminal trial in the United States was scheduled for October 2, where he faces charges including fraud related to the commingling of funds between FTX and Alameda Research. It is unclear whether Gabriel will offer testimony against his brother, but debtors in the FTX bankruptcy case have considered subpoenaing him to provide information about any financial benefits he may have received from the exchange.
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