Sam Bankman-Fried won’t get ‘special treatment’ in Bahamas

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Sam Bankman-Fried reportedly will not receive any “special treatment” at the rat- and maggot-infested Bahamian prison where he’s being held — and experts say that could make him rethink plans to fight extradition to the US.

The 30-year-old accused crypto fraudster spent Wednesday night in the infirmary of Fox Hill, the notorious prison in Nassau that human rights officials have said offers inadequate medical and sanitary conditions to inmates, according to reports.

Doan Cleare, the Caribbean nation’s acting commissioner of corrections, pushed back on concerns that Bankman-Fried — a former billionaire who lived a lavish lifestyle on the island before his FTX crypto platform came crashing down last month — would be treated with kid gloves.

Instead, Cleare told the Bahamian site Eyewitness News that once Bankman-Fried is released from doctor supervision, he will be placed in a “similar place like everybody else.” Bankman-Fried will room with “five other inmates in a dorm-style setting” at Fox Hill, according to Cleare.

Cleare likewise pushed back on reports in US media outlets that the detention center is inhumane.

Bankman-Fried was taken into custody by police in the Bahamas on Monday.
AFP via Getty Images

“He is in good spirits,” Cleare told the Nassau Guardian newspaper. “He is getting his medication on time. Only in-person lawyer visits [are permitted] at this time, along with personnel from the American Embassy. All others will be via video conferencing.”

Cleare said that prison officials have asked Bankman-Fried’s family to “bring in any special food that is required” — a reference to the reported request by his family to provide him vegan meals behind bars.

Bankman-Fried treats his depression with Emsam, a medication that is administered through a patch that needs to be replaced daily, according to his attorney, Jerone Roberts.

The alleged crypto fraudster will be housed with other inmates at the notorious Fox Hill prison in the Bahamas.
The News Leader of The Bahamas /
The US State Department and human rights groups have described conditions at Fox Hill prison as inhumane.
The US State Department and human rights groups have described conditions at Fox Hill as inhumane.
The News Leader of The Bahamas /
In 2020, the US State Department issued a report which cited unsanitary conditions at the prison, including rat and maggot infestation.
The News Leader of The Bahamas /

He also takes 10 milligrams of anti-allergy pill Zyrtec as well as 10 milligrams of Adderall that is used to treat attention deficit disorder.


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The harsh prison conditions at the Bahamian detention facility holding Bankman-Fried could compel the disgraced FTX founder to drop his legal battle against extradition to the United States to face federal fraud charges, according to attorneys.

Inmates at Fox Hill are allegedly denied adequate nutrition and medical care.
Inmates at Fox Hill are allegedly denied adequate nutrition and medical care.
The News Leader of The Bahamas /

Legal experts said that the extradition process could drag on for months or even years, and that Bankman-Fried is likely to come to the conclusion that he would be better off facing justice in the US than languishing in a jail cell in the Bahamas.

“It would be tough for SBF to withstand that for any period of time,” Bruce Zagaris, a Washington, DC-based attorney, told Bloomberg News. “He won’t get any special treatment from the inmates and the guards, like he did at the Albany condominium.”

“Eventually, he’s going to say ‘I don’t want to spend another few years at this place, what are my alternatives?’” Zagaris said.

Douglas McNabb, a Houston-based lawyer, told Bloomberg News that Bankman-Fried’s failure to convince a judge to grant him bail was a major setback.

Bankman-Fried may reconsider bid to fight extradition to the US after extended stay at the Bahamas prison, legal experts said.
The News Leader of The Bahamas /
Prison officials said that Bankman-Fried is currently being housed in the infirmary and is in "good spirits."
Prison officials said that Bankman-Fried is currently being housed in the infirmary and is in “good spirits.”
The News Leader of The Bahamas /

It “causes a defendant to rethink whether they want to appeal the case or not because they don’t want to be sitting in a Bahamian jail,” McNabb said. “That’s a decision he’s going to have to make.”

Late Thursday, Bankman-Fried filed a new application for bail before the country’s Supreme Court, Eyewitness News reported. A hearing was set for Jan. 17, 2023.

Bankman-Fried, who went from a net worth of around $20 billion a year ago to bankrupt following the collapse of his cryptocurrency exchange, was arrested by police in the Bahamas on Monday.

He faces extradition to the US, where federal authorities issued an indictment accusing the ex-FTX CEO of wire fraud, securities fraud, and other crimes, and is slated to remain in the jail until Feb. 8, when a Bahamian court will hear his case.

Bankman-Fried will remain in the jail until an extradition hearing on Feb. 8.
Bankman-Fried will remain in the jail until an extradition hearing on Feb. 8.
Facebook/Tyrone C Knowles JP

The MIT grad was denied his request for $250,000 cash bail and an ankle bracelet to monitor his movements and has since been remanded to Fox Hill.

In 2020, the US State Department issued a report which cited unsanitary conditions at the prison, including rat and maggot infestation. The inmates housed at the prison are given buckets as toilets and are denied adequate medical care, according to the report.

Bankman-Fried was slated to have his own room in the medical block of the maximum security unit in the facility, Bloomberg previously reported.

Bankman-Fried will not be allowed to receive visitors due to COVID-era restrictions that remain in place.

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