Walking The Path Of Epstein, Shadowed By El Chapo: The Notorious Brooklyn Jail That's Sam Bankman-Fried's New Home For At Least 52 Days

Zinger Key Points
  • Bankman-Fried, FTX founder, is sent to Brooklyn's MDC, notorious for dire conditions, awaiting fraud trial after bail is revoked.
  • High-profile inmates like El-Chapo, R. Kelly, Maxwell, and Epstein once endured MDC's harsh conditions.

Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of the now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX, is set to trade the comfort of his parent’s Palo Alto, California home for the notorious conditions of Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC).

The pre-trial sentence comes following a pivotal ruling by U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan last week, who ordered Bankman-Fried into the jail to await his fraud trial after revoking his $250 million bail over concerns of tampering with witnesses.

Bankman-Fried’s descent from billionaire to inmate has been incredibly swift. Despite entering a not guilty plea, the founder of FTX is caught in a whirlwind of legal complications. Allegations of witness interference, primarily involving his former partner, Caroline Ellison, intensified the scrutiny.

The backdrop for Bankman-Fried — in a literal sense — is MDC, a facility that has earned a harsh reputation in recent years due to persistent staff shortages, power outages, and dire living conditions. Notably, an electrical fire in the winter of 2019 blacked out the jail for days, leaving inmates without lighting or heat as temperatures fell to near zero Fahrenheit, The New York Times reported.

Read also: Lawsuit Targets VCs Sequoia, SoftBank And Others For ‘Aiding & Abetting’ FTX Sham

The challenges at MDC extend beyond infrastructure. From maggots in inmates’ meals to the smuggling of contraband by compromised guards, the institution has faced criticism for conditions described by public defenders as “inhumane.”

Even high-profile inmates detailed the grim conditions they endured at MDC. Ghislaine Maxwell, for instance, said raw sewage seeped into her cell. She has since been transferred and is now serving a 20-year sentence in Florida.

Bankman-Fried’s defense made appeals to Judge Kaplan, urging against the incarceration of the 31-year-old former billionaire at MDC. They cited concerns over the facility’s “staffing crisis” and the potential impact on Bankman-Fried’s ability to prepare for his trial.

However, the judge was unconvinced, noting that while MDC “is not on anybody’s list of five-star facilities,” the alternative option, a minimum-security jail located about 50 miles north of New York City, might not be feasible, according to a Reuters report.

More than that, the former billionaire is set to be in notorious company at MDC.

Former inmates have included the likes of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera, the infamous drug lord; financier and alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, who was held briefly before being transferred to the Manhattan Correctional Center where it was reported he committed suicide; and R&B singer R. Kelly who was sentenced to 30 years in Federal prison for racketeering and sex trafficking.

Current detainees include Juan Orlando Hernandez, the ex-president of Honduras, who was arrested for a violent drug-trafficking conspiracy.

Bankman-Fried’s legal woes shows no signs of untangling soon, as the founder of FTX will serve at least 52 days in the MDC jail as he awaits his day in court on October 2.

Read next: Bankman-Fried’s Move To Jail Sparks Strong Reactions On X: ‘Hope You Enjoy Prison’

Photo: wikimedia.org and Shutterstock

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Posted In: CryptocurrencyGovernmentNewsTopicsMarketsGeneralCaroline EllisonGhislaine MaxwellJeffrey EpsteinLewis KaplanSam Bankman-Fried
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