The founder of FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, was sent to a detention facility in New York on Friday after his bail was revoked. His residence is a short distance from his parents’ home on the Stanford University campus in Palo Alto, California, where he previously lived under house arrest.
The disgraced crypto wunderkind was remanded to the Metropolitan Detention Center, (MDC) Brooklyn after US District Judge Lewis Kaplan found probable cause to believe that Bankman-Fried was involved in witness tampering. Bankman-Fried already faces a litany of criminal charges, including fraud, in connection with the collapse of FTX in November.
According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ prisoner finderBankman-Fried is now one of approximately 1,600 incarcerated individuals at the facility, which has housed other high-profile former inmates.
At one point, the prisoner list included convicted sex trafficker and former British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell. He, incidentally, is represented by Bankman Fried’s current attorney, Mark S. Cohen. That was before he was found guilty of crimes and misdemeanors related to the late financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
In November 2021, Maxwell criticized the conditions at MDC Brooklyn. she SPOKE in the UK Daily Mail about rats living in his cell and “terrible” guards who prevented him from taking a comfortable shower.
“Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli also held MDC Brooklyn before him convicted in 2018 in a multi-million dollar fraud scheme. In 2017, he SPOKE The Tab to “avoid this place,” recalls a time he almost got into a fight while waiting in line to use a computer.
On Saturday, Shkreli SAYS on Twitter that MDC Brooklyn is “sucking for Sam” and postulating that the former crypto mogul may not see home again for 15 to 30 years. Shkreli previously comforted Terraform Labs co-founder Do Kwon (who has since been arrested) that “prison isn’t too bad” in a recording on the UpOnly podcast.
New York Attorney General Leticia James called Living conditions at MDC Brooklyn were “unacceptable and inhumane” in 2019 when he filed an amicus brief in a lawsuit against the Bureau of Prisons over power outages that left inmates freezing.
But there’s a chance Bankman-Fried could be transferred to another facility before her October trial. Federal prosecutors have suggested that the founder of FTX could be held at the Putnam County Correctional Facility before his bail is revoked, per Reuters.
The Putnam County Correctional Facility is billed as a medium-level security facility in upstate New York. It is located about an hour and a half north of the courthouse where Bankman-Fried was left in handcuffs on Friday.
While conditions at MDC Brooklyn are known to be harsh, so are conditions at Fox Hill prison in the Bahamas, where Bankman-Fried was held before being extradited to the US after he arrested last December.
A 2021 report by the US State Department found most cells in that prison there is no mattress and toilet. Many of the facility’s cells are filled with a mixture of rats, worms, and insects as well.
In comparison, the home owned by Bankman-Fried’s parents—where he was sent after his arraignment—must have seemed like paradise. With wide windows, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, and a grand piano, the house also has a swimming pool, per The San Francisco Standard.
During his work on the West Coast, requests made for Bankman-Fried to allow her to use streaming media services like Spotify and Netflix, while browsing news websites like CoinDesk and Decrypt.
Towards the tail end of his stay, advises Bankman-Fried HUNTED to expand the former crypto mogul’s guest list to include his “close friends” and “household help,” signaling that Bankman-Fried feels lonely and needs help.
According to BOP’s website, inmates can add up to 10 friends or associates to their visiting list, though it’s unclear whether Bankman-Fried could be subject to tighter restrictions. And, not surprisingly, MDC Brooklyn’s commissary list not to mention in-house cleaning services.