Sam Bankman-Fried, once revered as a “King of Crypto,” has experienced a fall from grace in a year that saw him turning from CEO of one of the most popular crypto exchanges, FTX, into a convict who awaits his guilty verdict in a jail cell.
Since August, the founder of FTX has been incarcerated after a federal judge annulled his bail due to probable cause of witness intimidation, a charge vehemently denied by Bankman-Fried.
In a swift verdict earlier this month, a jury convicted him within a few hours on charges of embezzling billions from FTX customers, concurrently defrauding investors and lenders. His sentencing is set for March 28, 2024, after which he will be transferred to a federal prison to commence his term.
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Although Bankman-Fried has concluded his days of investing billions in startups and trading digital tokens, he is still providing guards with cryptocurrency advice from his cell walls, as The Wall Street Journal reported on November 23.
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His current residence, Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center, has faced longstanding criticism from defense lawyers and the jail guards’ union, citing subpar conditions and chronic understaffing.
According to the individual familiar with the matter, he is permitted non-attorney visitors weekly and has been provided access to a specialized laptop to review legal materials.
Bankman-Fried shares his unit with Genaro García Luna, Mexico’s former secretary of public security, convicted this year for aiding the Sinaloa cartel in smuggling over 50 tons of cocaine into the U.S. Also in the unit is Juan Orlando Hernández, former President of Honduras, awaiting trial on federal drug-trafficking and firearms charges.
Bill Baroni, the prison consultant, mentioned that when Bankman-Fried relocates to federal prison, he’ll probably take his mackerel packets along, as they are used as currency inside the prison system. Baroni recalled paying four macks for his haircut during his own time in prison.
He humorously remarked, “The mack currency system is way more reliable than crypto.”