Sam Bankman-Fried used hose and cold water to shower in jail
Get busy living, or get busy drying.
Former billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried was reduced to using a hose and cold water to take a shower while languishing in a Bahamian prison that the indicted crypto mogul said was “like ‘The Shawshank Redemption,’” according to a report.
Bankman-Fried, who was taken into custody by law enforcement officials in the Bahamas on Dec. 12, said he was forced to shower in a moldy stall during his brief stay in a small 20-square-foot room in the infirmary of the notorious Fox Hill detention facility in Nassau.
“I thought it was going to be like ‘The Shawshank Redemption,’” Bankman-Fried, 30, told Forbes, referencing the Oscar-winning 1994 film starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman.
In the film, Robbins’ character Andy Dufresne is sent to a prison where he and other inmates are routinely beaten, raped and in some cases killed by fellow prisoners as well as guards — all under the watchful eye of a corrupt warden.
However, Bankman-Fried was spared the dangers of having to deal with the general population in a jail which human rights organizations have said is riddled with maggots, mice and cockroaches. His 10-day incarceration was in the infirmary with five other inmates.
He also was afforded the luxury of using the infirmary’s own bathroom that had a door, but the toilet wouldn’t flush on its own, forcing him to use a bucket of water during each trip.
The rare time he showered, it was under a hose with cold water and he was forced to dry his hands and face with a towel that measured 3 inches by 5 inches, according to Forbes.
The FTX founder told Forbes that his sleeping arrangement was “the worst possible bed that you could imagine, made of cardboard and a piece of semi-soft plastic on top of stilts.”
There were no pillows available, so Bankman-Fried rolled up the navy blue jacket that he wore for his court appearances and used that to put his head down at night.
He also didn’t get served his usual vegan diet, instead settling for peanut butter, stale Wonder Bread and fresh fruit, according to Forbes.
However, unlike Dufresne, Bankman-Fried told Forbes that he never felt in danger with the other inmates with whom he shared the infirmary.
Bankman-Fried said that the prisoners were mostly jailed for drug-related crimes. They reportedly told him that dealing drugs was three times more lucrative than earning a wage at McDonald’s.
He described to Forbes the tense moments leading up to his dramatic arrest. Bankman-Fried said that he was on the phone with his New York-based attorney who was relaying a message from the FBI.
The bureau told Bankman-Fried’s attorney that Bahamas police were on their way to arrest his client. The feds said that the fallen FTX founder had to choose between waiting for the local cops to nab him or agree to be extradited to the US under “some sort of bail conditions,” according to Forbes.
If Bankman-Fried opted for extradition, the FBI would head off the Bahamian cops and take him into custody. He would then be whisked away and put on a private jet bound for the mainland within a matter of hours, according to Forbes.
But Bankman-Fried wasn’t convinced that his arrest was imminent, so he had his parents ring up top Bahamian government officials in hopes of confirming the tip, Forbes reported.
None of the officials who were called by the Bankman-Frieds claimed to know of any arrest.
“They have no f–king clue what this is about,” a source close to Bankman-Fried told Forbes.
“They think it’s apocryphal … and that they guess the US doesn’t understand that they don’t have power here…If we were going to arrest you, we would have done that a month ago,” the source told Forbes.
Bankman-Fried alleges that the arrest was part of “an organized pressure campaign” by the US Department of Justice to get Bahamian authorities to detain him before he had a chance to escape.
A cable sent from DOJ to the office of the Bahamian attorney general two days before the arrest read: “Lawfully obtained documentary evidence and various witness interviews indicate that Bankman-Fried personally accumulated billions of dollars from his involvement in the criminal conspiracy: thus, he has the means, and may soon have the motive, to flee The Bahamas.”
The Post has sought comment from Bankman-Fried’s spokesperson.
Bankman-Fried initially fought extradition, but eventually relented. He pleaded not guilty to fraud and money-laundering charges before being freed on $250 million bond while awaiting trial, which is scheduled to begin in Lower Manhattan this fall.
Bankman-Fried is currently under house arrest in the $4 million Palo Alto, Cal. home of his parents — Stanford law professors Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried.
He has denied allegations that he swindled investors and customers of FTX by diverting $1.8 billion invested in the platform to his hedge fund. If convicted, he faces up to 115 years behind bars.
Bankman-Fried’s family has hired armed private security guards and bought a trained German shepherd that can attack on command with a secret code word, according to Forbes.
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