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Former FTX CEO’s Prison Life While Awaiting Appeal

Sam Bankman-Fried prison

Thomas Musgrave

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| 1 min read

Sam Bankman-Fried prison

Since his imprisonment for fraud, Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX, spoke to the media for the first time on May 9. Sentenced to 25 years, Bankman-Fried maintains his innocence and is pursuing an appeal. While legal proceedings unfold, he has turned his attention to a new venture: commodities trading within the confines of prison walls, focusing specifically on bags of rice.

The interview, facilitated by Bankman-Fried’s mother and conducted by Puck News journalist Theodore Schleifer, occurred at Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center, where he has been held since August 2023. The interview revealed details about Bankman-Fried’s life behind bars and his perspective on the FTX collapse.

Sam Bankman-Fried’s Life Inside Prison Walls

Bankman-Fried’s vegan diet has proven unpopular with fellow inmates, leading him to rely on beans and rice, a common staple and a form of currency within the prison. The dietary shift is just one aspect of his adaptation to life at the Metropolitan Detention Center.

Maintaining consistent eye contact with the reporter, a departure from his usual demeanor, Sam Bankman-Fried currently resides in a spacious, dormitory-style prison area within a section of the MDC primarily reserved for female inmates.

He is segregated with 35 other male prisoners, half of whom are reportedly cooperating with the government in murder cases. Bankman-Fried’s physical appearance has also changed; he has lost weight and appears less restless than in his pre-prison days, according to Puck.

SBF Claims of Unfair Blame and Negligence

The former FTX head maintained that he has been unfairly blamed for the company’s collapse. He attributed the downfall to negligence that created the conditions for a bank run, compounded by competitors’ actions. Bankman-Fried believes a civil penalty, rather than a criminal one, would have been more appropriate. Convicted of assisting in the misappropriation of $8 billion in customer funds, Bankman-Fried expressed little remorse.

He regrets not finding a different leader for Alameda Research, citing a conflict of interest with his simultaneous leadership of FTX.

Awaiting the potentially lengthy transfer process, which could take up to four months, Bankman-Fried has requested relocation to a facility closer to his parents.

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