SBF denied bail

From Penthouse to Prison: SBF’s New Home Is “Infested With Rats, Maggots & Insects”

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The once seemingly untouchable Sam Bankman-Fried has been remanded into custody after his request for bail was denied in a Bahamas court on Tuesday.

Presiding Judge JoyAnn Ferguson-Pratt denied Bankman-Fried’s bail citing the former crypto founder as a “flight risk” and ordered that he be held in custody at the Bahamas Department of Corrections until February 8, 2023.

Ferguson-Pratt additionally ordered that there would be an extradition hearing next year on the same day. The US first signed an extradition treaty with the Bahamas in 1990 and will most likely seek to enforce such treaty in the coming weeks.

Bankman-Fried’s attorneys initially requested that bail be set at US$250,000, arguing that the 30-year-old suffered from ailments like depression and insomnia that require daily medication to treat. His attorneys also highlighted that the Bankman-Fried does not possess a criminal record, and did not flee the Bahamas despite having plenty of opportunity to do so.

Unfortunately for Bankman-Fried, lawyers from the prosecution reminded the judge that the former-FTX CEO had “extensive ties” to foreign regions, including Hong Kong and China. According to a report from CoinDesk, Bankman-Fried had already told at least one witness that he was “ready to relocate” to an unnamed country in the Middle East.

The Bahama’s only jail: Fox Hill Prison

Sam Bankman-Fried will spend the next three months in the only correctional facility in the Bahamas, an institution called ‘Fox Hill’. This is about as far as one could get from the US$40 million-dollar penthouse that Bankman-Fried had been running his “apology tour” from.

A 2021 human rights report that investigated the conditions at Fox Hill found that inmates often removed their ‘waste’ in buckets as well as developing sores from lying on bare concrete. The cells were also reported to be “infested with rats, maggots and insects”.

While the prison is supposed to segregate violent and dangerous offenders from first timers, a limited amount of space often sees inmates awaiting trial for relatively minor crimes sent to maximum-security areas of the facility.

How did SBF get here?

Bankman-Fried was first taken into custody on December 12 by the Royal Bahamas Police Force after the country’s Attorney General received a formal notification from the United States that it had filed criminal charges against the failed crypto entrepreneur in a sealed indictment.

On Tuesday, the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) unsealed the indictment, announcing that officials were charging Bankman-Fried with eight seperate charges, most notably: wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and election campaign violations.

Just hours after the SDNY indictment was unsealed, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed fresh allegations of their own against Bankman-Fried, charging the disgraced crypto wunderkind with defrauding investors in conformity with two federal anti-fraud legislations, the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. 

According to the SEC filing, SBF is guilty of “orchestrating a scheme to defraud equity investors” to the tune of US$1.8 billion from a number of different entities, many of which were US companies and institutions.

“We allege that Sam Bankman-Fried built a house of cards on a foundation of deception while telling investors that it was one of the safest buildings in crypto.”

Gary Gensler, SEC Chairman.