Sam Bankman-Fried is ‘ready to face the music,’ prison official says


Disgraced and indicted former cryptocurrency executive Sam Bankman-Fried watched movies and read news articles about himself in a Bahamas prison before being granted bail, according to prison officials. He is holding out a ray of hope that he will be out soon. someone who interacts with him on a regular basis.

Bankman-Fried may also give up fighting extradition soon and allow himself to be taken to the United States and prosecuted, officials said.

A few days after arriving at the prison known as Fox Hill, Bankman-Fried was spending “well” in the facility’s ward, where he spent several days undergoing a medical evaluation, which his lawyers convinced him to do. The judge said he would grant him bail after his first attempt failed.

But if his lawyers’ efforts fail, Bankman-Fried will waive his right to fight extradition and return to the U.S. to “face the music,” he told authorities in a brief exchange Friday morning. told the person

Reuters reported Saturday night that the former FTX executive is due to appear in court on Monday for a hearing to overturn his decision to fight extradition.

Officials described the young former billionaire as “a little arrogant” but overall a “nice guy” who defended himself during his first few days in prison and appeared “extremely scared”. When another man in the same room jokingly asked him how he was able to make so much money, he didn’t laugh.

Earlier this week, as Bankman-Fried watched news reports about himself on local television, officials asked him how he felt. Unfazed, he replied, “It’s fine. We’ll take care of it.”

Lawyers for Bankman-Fried did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Bankman-Fried’s life has changed dramatically since his arrest. Until last week, he was living with close friends in his $30 million penthouse just a few miles away, where he ran one of the world’s most famous cryptocurrency exchanges. His new address at a correctional facility notorious for its unsanitary conditions and severe overcrowding underscores his dramatic downfall as U.S. regulators and prosecutors announce a series of indictments against him. increase.

Bankman-Fried says he was careless with FTX. Prosecutors say it’s a scam.

Awaiting new bail hearing on Jan. 17, he could be the former CEO of FTX You can move out of the ward — which is clearly better than the rest of the facility, with amenities such as air conditioning and proper beds — To a solitary confinement with no running water or toilet.

Meanwhile, his extradition trial will begin on February 8, but he may decide to accept extradition at any time and be expeditiously sent back to the United States by then.

Opened in 1952, Fox Hill is, as it is commonly known, the only prison in the country with a long history of inmate complaints corroborated by expert witnesses and court documents. There is little or no access to running water, and prisoners are often forced to defecate in plastic bags or buckets.Many people develop bedsores from sleeping on bare ground.

Bankman-Fried is currently undergoing a medical evaluation while staying in a maximum security block hospital room with five other men, according to Doan Clearer, deputy director of corrections for the Bahamas Correctional Services Authority.

Cleare declined to say where else in the facility or when he might be transferred, but added that his department is dealing with complaints of poor conditions.

“This new administration is addressing all concerns,” he told The Post on Saturday, noting that the department is making “tremendous progress in upgrading” and will soon pay $1 million for the remand center’s plumbing fixtures. He added that he would invest in

Although the facility has various sections that distinguish between violent and non-violent offenders, these populations are arbitrarily divided due to understaffing and attempts to avoid fighting between rival gangs. are often mixed, says Christina Galanos, a local criminal attorney. Defendants who have been arraigned but not yet tried are usually held in remand centers, where Bankman-Fried is likely to be transferred, she added.

However, prison officials said Bankman-Fried could also be transferred to a block within a refurbished maximum security area. Isolated from the rest of the population.

In most areas of the prison, inmates are required to exercise outdoors for one hour each day. But due to staff shortages, overcrowding and increased gang brawls, it can go on for days and sometimes weeks without being allowed outside, Galanos said.

Sleep is not very good. Inmates often sleep on sheets on cardboard on the floor, and many complain of bedsores, hives, and general aches and pains. Galanos, who has represented more than 100 clients in the United States, said most of the facilities have no plumbing and no access to purified drinking water, she added.

The US State Department’s 2021 Human Rights Report on the Bahamas found that the cells also infected mice, maggots, and insects. The facility houses 1,617 inmates, even though it was built to house 1,000 of his.

For Carrie Allen Chappell, an American citizen who spent more than two months in prison earlier this year after being charged with multiple gun and ammunition-related offenses, the situation is “inhumane,” he said in an interview. said in

For a time, Chappell recalls, he spent four or five days sleeping on a concrete floor and eating nothing but bread and water. At some point, he became ill, but he was denied treatment despite several calls to see a doctor. He said he lost 30 pounds during this time.

Little improvement had been made in the re-housing area, where Chappell shared a cell with four other inmates for 45 days. They all urinated in sinks without running water and used jugs of their own drinking water to wash off their waste. Chappell had a mattress, but it was full of bed bugs, he added.

As he recalled, the inmate was only allowed 20 to 30 minutes in the courtyard three times a week, depending on the lot he was staying in. Isolation, lack of recreational activities, and poor natural light , and the overall dire situation plunged him into an extreme state of mind.

“I was suicidal most of the time,” he said. “You sat there all day thinking about the problems in your life.”

In comments to the local Eyewitness News site, Commissioner Clear said the crypto mogul “will not receive the same special treatment as other inmates” while he is remanded into custody.

Lawyer Galanos said inmates rarely stay in the hospital for more than a few days unless they have a “serious medical condition.” However, given Bankman-Fried’s notoriety, authorities may decide to keep him there so that he is isolated from the general public.

“Someone could hurt him, harass him, threaten him, and it would be a scandal if he died,” Galanos added.

At his initial bail hearing last Tuesday, Bankman-Fried’s lawyers said he was released on bail because he has special vegetarian needs and has suffered from depression, insomnia and ADHD for more than a decade. argued that it should be

Cleare countered that prison doctors determined Bankman-Fried’s diet plan, and that officials reached out to his family to bring him food and accommodate his “strict, demanding diet.”

Meanwhile, prison officials said Bankman-Fried eats vegan food.

Valentino Bethel is a current Fox Hill inmate who filed a lawsuit against the Bahamas Department of Corrections in the Supreme Court last year for violating constitutional rights and inflicting “inhumane treatment.” He was held in his 6-by-9-foot cell with his four other inmates without mattresses. A poor diet, including a lack of fruits and vegetables, caused him to lose more than 30 pounds, according to court documents.

“The cells have no plumbing or running water for sanitation, and the infected cells have no lights. Roofs leak and cells overflow. Inmates defecate in plastic bags and defecate directly in buckets or barter.”

Prison rules require inmates to exercise and shower daily, but the complaint says inmates can choose to shower, exercise or go to the barber shop twice a week. Bethel said he was given only 15- to 20-minute time slots on several occasions.

Earlier this year, a court dismissed Bethel’s complaint, claiming he skipped several lower courts, and directed his complaint to be sent to correctional services review.

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