Sam Bankman-Fried, who is yet to be sentenced, awaits a second trial on charges of campaign finance fraud and bribery of Chinese officials, set for March 28, 2024.
The co-founder and former CEO of FTX Derivatives Exchange, Bankman-Fried, recently convicted on November 2, 2023, for defrauding clients is allegedly adapting to the economic realities of prison life with some resourcefulness and resilience.
Sam Bankman-Fried Experiences Harsh Lifestyle Shift
A recent report published by the Wall Street Journal shows that Bankman-Fried, used to the lavish lifestyle of a crypto billionaire with a $30 million Bahamas apartment, now finds himself in a tricky situation trying to navigate the restrictions of federal jail.
His days of selling high-value digital assets are long gone and are now replaced with an unexpected venture into mackerel trading, a common and accepted practice among the inmates.
Using the mackerel packets, valued at about $1.30 each, as a de facto currency, he allegedly exchanged them for services, that included securing a haircut before his trial. While mackerel may be the preferred currency, it is not immune to various inflationary pressures.
Based on reports, a pouch of mackerel filets in the Brooklyn jail’s commissary represents a 30% increase from $1 in 2020. The inflation mirrors the economic challenges that are faced by inmates and the harsh realities within the prison ecosystem.
The report also reveals some intriguing details about Bankman-Fried’s fellow inmates, including Juan Orlando Hernández, a former Honduran president awaiting a trial for alleged bribery involvement with drug traffickers, and Genaro García Luna, the former head of police in Mexico, recently convicted for helping cartels in smuggling cocaine into the US.
Astonishingly, despite their diverse backgrounds, the report indicates that Sam Bankman-Fried and Hernández share a somewhat cordial relationship, mostly engaging in “cordial conversations” according to Hernández’s legal team.
Furthermore, Bankman-Fried’s initial problems in acquiring vegetarian meals and ADHD medication have allegedly been resolved. Despite the Brooklyn facility’s terrible circumstances, efforts have been made to help satisfy his demands. The former FTX CEO is allowed non-attorney visitation once per week and has been given a special laptop for studying legal documents, nonetheless, computer use is limited.
Mark Botnick, Bankman-Fried’s spokesperson, told the press that the former FTX executive is doing the “best he can under the circumstances.” Despite his detention, Bankman-Fried has not lost his entrepreneurial spirit. While his digital asset trading days are over, reports indicate that he has been offering cryptocurrency tips to prison guards.
What Happens Next for Ex-CEO Of FTX Bankman-Fried
Sam Bankman-Fried, who is yet to be sentenced, awaits a second trial on charges of campaign finance fraud and bribery of Chinese officials, set for March 28, 204. While he faces a maximum sentence of 115 years in prison, experts believe he might get a shorter sentence maybe 25 years or less.
Notorious for its poor conditions, the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, is not expected to be Bankman-Fried’s last stop. After sentencing, he might be transferred to a federal prison, where he might experience increased freedom of movement, enhanced educational and recreational resources, and a less violent prison population.
Recently, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit denied Bankman-Fried’s latest release attempt, solidifying his continued stay in jail as his legal team gets ready to appeal his case.