Bankman-Fried forced to trade mackerel for prison haircut

Bankman-Fried forced to trade mackerel for prison haircut
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Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of failed crypto exchange FTX, is coping with jail time by learning how to trade fish for services from other inmates.

A source told The Wall Street Journal that Bankman-Fried recently exchanged tins of mackerel for a haircut from another inmate in an effort to maintain his “signature mop-top”.

The fish has become the most popular commissary item ever since the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center banned cigarettes, the outlet reported. Inmates frequently trade it for services from each other.

Mackerel costs $1.30 at the jail commissary, while one of the more expensive items is an MP3 Player for $88.40.

Bankman-Fried has been in the facility since August. He’s being held without bail after a federal judge found that he tried to intimidate a witness, harassed his former girlfriend, Caroline Ellison, and gave documents to reporters. The former crypto king denied the allegations.

He’s currently awaiting sentencing on seven felonies related to conspiracy and fraud. He’s been convicted of stealing billions from FTX customers and defrauding investors and lenders. Prosecutors alleged that Bankman-Fried took money from customers and used it to pay off debts tied to Alameda Research, a hedge fund he founded in 2017.

Former FTX chief executive Samuel Bankman-Fried testifies before the US Senate on 9 February 2022 (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)
Former FTX chief executive Samuel Bankman-Fried testifies before the US Senate on 9 February 2022 (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

He’ll be moved to a federal correctional facility after his sentencing hearing, which is scheduled for 28 March 2024. He’s facing a maximum of 110 years in prison.

The outlet reported he is cellmates with Juan Orlando Hernández, the former president of Honduras, and a former Mexican law enforcement official.

Before moving to jail, Bankman-Fried was under house arrest at his parents’ home in Palo Alto, California on $250m bail. He previously lived in a $30m Bahamas apartment and was reportedly worth $26bn.

During the trial, Ms Ellison, who also served as an FTX executive, told the court that the company did take money from the company.

“Alameda took several billion dollars of money from FTX customers and used it for our own investments and to repay debts we had,” she said.

She has pleaded guilty to seven counts of fraud and conspiracy.

The Independent has reached out to an attorney for Bankman-Fried for comment.