SBF housed with ex-Honduras president in jail, is trading mackerel and giving crypto tips
Sam Bankman-Fried is reportedly faring well in the Metropolitan Detention Center.
The newspaper said that Bankman-Fried has been placed in a dormitory with Juan Orlando Hernández, a former Honduran president who is awaiting trial over acceptance of bribes from drug traffickers. Both appear to be on good terms: Hernández’s lawyer said that the two inmates have held “cordial conversations.”
Also in the same unit is Genaro García Luna, a former head of police in Mexico who was recently convicted of helping cartels smuggle cocaine into the U.S.
The Wall Street Journal added that Bankman-Fried’s difficulties in accessing vegetarian meals and ADHD medication in prison have been resolved.
It noted that Bankman-Fried is allowed to see non-attorney vistors once a week. He has also been granted access to a special laptop for the review of legal documents, though his computer use is restricted to a dedicated room with divider desks.
Bankman-Fried’s spokesperson, Mark Botnick, told the newspaper that the former FTX executive is doing the “best he can under the circumstances.”
Bankman-Fried involved in prison economy
The Wall Street Journal additionally said that Bankman-Fried is trading mackerel packets with other inmates in exchange for services. He reportedly traded an unknown amount of mackerel for a haircut prior to his trial in November.
Mackerel packets — which are individually worth about $1.30 — became a de facto prison currency after federal smoking bans eliminated cigarettes as a viable alternative. (Incidentally, another former cryptocurrency convict, Charlie Shrem, has previously commented on the economics of prison mackerel trading.)
Bankman-Fried has also provided advice regarding cryptocurrency investment to guards, according one of the Wall Street Journal’s unnamed sources.
SBF will be moved after sentencing
Bankman-Fried is currently housed in the Metropolitan Detention Center, Brookyln, which is notorious for its poor conditions. He will be transferred to a federal prison to serve his full sentence. There, he will likely receive greater freedom of movement, better educational and recreational resources, and company with less violent prison population, according to a prison consultant cited by the Wall Street Journal.
Bankman-Fried has been convicted, but has not yet been sentenced, for his role in FTX’s fraud. His sentencing is set for March 28, 2024 following a second trial that will handle charges of campaign finance fraud and bribery of Chinese officials.
Bankman-Fried’s current maximum sentence is 115 years in prison, though some experts have suggested he will be imprisoned for 25 years or less.