Sam Bankman-Fried Chilled In The American Airlines Greenwich Lounge After Making Bail

Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of FTX and Alameda Capital, is accused of effectively embezzling customer money to fund his hedge fund’s losses, his other investments, and his own spending. He’s also accused of fraud for pitching investors on the superior risk controls in place on his crypto exchange, while exempting his own accounts from those same controls.

He waived extradition and returned from the Bahamas to the U.S. Bail was set at an almost-unprecedented $250 million (Bernie Madoff’s bail was $10 million). The court deemed him so infamous that he wouldn’t be able to travel unrecognized. That turns out to be true.

His parents put up the equity in their home, among other contributions to his bond, and he was released under numerous conditions. He has to confine himself to his parents’ home. To get there he flew New York JFK – San Francisco, presumably in American Airlines business class, because he was spotted in American’s JFK Greenwich lounge.

The American Airlines Arena in Miami is what FTX bought naming rights for. And American Airlines did issue its first NFT nearly a year ago!

Now that British Airways has moved into JFK’s terminal 8 with American, they’re jointly operating three lounges, and the Greenwich lounge is the business class lounge. It’s made out of the old Flagship lounge, and being renovated to include the old Admirals Club in the same location as well as the old Flagship First Dining. The buffet in Greenwich is the same as in the oneworld emerald Soho lounge. Hopefully Sam enjoyed the vegan options, and collected the Loyalty Points.

Greenwich Lounge Buffet

Bankman-Fried was escorted. He can be seen in the photograph working on the laptop transferring FTT to fund his bond and defense costs. After losing $8 billion in customer funds, though, you’d think he might have flown to the West Coast to move back in at his parents’ house in coach?

Update: Here he is on board American: (HT: @airpods_one)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Why should he care? After all, his MO is living on other people’s money. Those AA loyalty points will be worth to him about as much as FTT tokens, should he be sentenced.

  2. 1000% sure unless you have photos that he would be put in row 1 and 2 of first class (even on a business class ticket) with his parents and FBI agent and pre board ASAP even if the plane wasn’t clean. He’d also be the first to deplane.

  3. When are the politicians who received funds from Bankman-Fried going to return the money he defrauded from his customers?

  4. “Hello Sam, I can’t seem to find my wallet, could I trouble you to borrow a few Benjamins?”


  5. While he’s eligible for the Greenwich Lounge, it appears that’s the normal Admirals Club in Concourse C…another misstep for SBF

  6. Why isn’t he in handcuffs and spending some time in Rikers Island instead of flying business class and moving back into Mom & Dad’s $3-4million home close to Stanford??

    Mom’s active in Dem & Progressive politics. How many phone calls did she have to make to get him the kid glove treatment? And who else signed on to the Bail collateral deal. None of this passes the smell test

  7. He stole $8 billion and he’s allowed to fly biz class? Shouldn’t the feds have frozen his personal accounts pending resolution of the case? I doubt he has any $$$ that were earned honestly. But maybe mommy & daddy bought his ticket.

  8. Hmm…… let’s compare his treatment by the authorities to how a black male might be treated. Let’s pick one out……say a poor black guy trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill.

  9. His parents raised skum just like them Wonder if Stanford teaches classes on greed and fraud. His parents may win the nobel prize in that area. It will be a good day when he gets prison time. Hope his fraud loving parents go to prison also.

  10. Neil, what do you know about his parents? What you’ve claimed without evidence could be considered libel.

  11. For all the people complaining, Bail is a constitutional right. He hasn’t been convicted or had a trial and been proven to commit anything nor has he had the chance to defend himself. Being convicted doesn’t even mean someone did something as we’ve had death row inmates later exonerated after conviction and many laws are unjust and illegitimate. Proven guilty is often just a jury that’s been handpicked by the government to get the verdict they want.

    Of course he is guilty and a schemer but that should not make anyone denounce his bail. If we start treating financial crimes like murder, that’s very unjust. Even people accused of murder are entitled to bail. In his defense he did nothing the federal government and Fed don’t do every single day. That’s why he probably thought it wasn’t a big deal. If he made that argument at trial that he didn’t do anything the government doesn’t do, that would be funny and true.

    Of course he is part of a Democrat liberal network that pumps in hundreds of millions to Dem coffers with stolen or laundered money. He is not innocent. He is a bad guy, a villain, and election interfering criminal.

  12. He owes a lot of people large amounts of money. I’m surprised he’s so calm and relaxed. People have been killed for less.

  13. His bond was put up by more than just his parents and him. It was put up by some of his friends too.

    Since he was fine with heading back to the US, and as long as he’s not fleeing the country, messing with evidence or potential witnesses against him, pre-trial home confinement is a better idea than ponying up money to host him in MCC in Manhattan or its awful and also awfully expensive sibling in Brooklyn.

  14. Boraxo,

    While some US Attorneys and multiple USAAs have considered going after the frequent flyer mileage balances of suspected and convicted criminals who accumulated miles as part of their criminal activities, it seems like they left it up to the airlines to determine if they want to shut the account or not. But my info on this is perhaps stale at this point.

  15. Dave Flaat,

    Riker’s isn’t a US DOJ/BOP jail, and so jail for him would have been a federal facility like MCC or MBC. He got sent back to the US under arrest for federal criminal charges.

    FWIW, many a criminal would rather be in federal jails/prisons instead of state/county/local ones.

    SBF is counting on federal prison camp. I hope he gets a tough judge rather than someone who is soft for him or his family. But this bond dollar figure sounds way more tough than it really is.

  16. SBF’s buddy/partner pumped tens of millions of dollars into Republican coffers. SBF and RS were a team to groom the establishment and the rebels, SBF tasked to court Democrats and RS tasked to court Republicans.

  17. Just another hardcore Dem going to live in his natural habitat, with his parents.
    Nothing to see here 🙂

  18. Working adults returning to their childhood home so as to live with their working or retiring parents is very good for the bottom line of the airlines and the hospitality industry. And for those more inclined to save instead of to spend, it’s also good for amassing savings and wealth. However did multigenerational living become a partisan issue?

    A fool and a fool’s money are soon parted. Regardless of political party and ideological persuasion.

  19. Maybe used miles…and for biz, not first for what it’s worth.

    The bigger question is how he managed to make it out of Kennedy with all the weather drama.

    At least has the visual demeanor of someone who thinks he has a fighting chance.

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