Crypto Madoff SBF Extradited To U.S., Could Be Moved To The Same Jail System As Jeffrey Epstein
Sam Bankman-Fried was extradited to the U.S. Wednesday, and unless his lawyers negotiate bail, he could be sent to the same jail system where the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein died while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
Bankman-Fried has been charged in the U.S. with defrauding customers and investors of his Bahamas-based FTX crypto exchange to the tune of $1.8 billion. He is facing an eight-count federal indictment and could be sentenced to up to 115 years in prison if he gets the maximum sentence.
However, many white-collar defendants get lesser sentences than guidelines dictate, according to trial lawyers and former prosecutors. Even in large fraud cases, life sentences can be drastically reduced, CNBC reported.
Since his Dec. 12 arrest in the Bahamas, Bankman-Fried has been held in the notorious Bahamas Fox Hill prison, described by U.S. officials as overcrowded, dirty and lacking medical care. Its cells often lack mattresses and are “infested with rats, maggots, and insects.”
Bankman-Fried, however, reportedly enjoyed special perks such as air-conditioning and cable TV during his stay there, NY Post reported.
Prosecutors and attorneys for Bankman-Fried are discussing an arrangement for SBF’s release so he can avoid being incarcerated at the Metropolitan Detention Center or MDC pre-trial holding facility in Brooklyn.
Former inmates and rights advocates have described MDC as inhumane and overcrowded with frequent lockdowns and power outages that leave inmates without heat in winter.
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Epstein was being held Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Lower Manhattan awaiting trial on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges over allegations that he paid girls as young as 14 for sex. Viewed as a potential flight risk, he was denied bail. His appeal of the bail denial was still pending when he was found hanging in his cell on Aug. 10, 2019. Normal jail procedures failed on the night of Epstein’s death, including the malfunction of two cameras in front of his cell. Epstein claimed to have compromising information about his powerful friends and associates. His death was ruled a suicide.
The Department of Justice announced in 2021 that it would close the MCC Lower Manhattan for repairs. MCC inmates were transferred to MDC Brooklyn, adding to the Brooklyn facility’s overcrowding.
Bankman-Fried has been compared to Bernie Madoff, the financier who ran the largest-ever Ponzi scheme — a type of investment fraud in which investors are lured by promises of artificially high rates of return with little or no risk, and earlier investors are paid with funds from more recent investors. A one-time chairman of the NASDAQ stock exchange, Madoff defrauded thousands of investors to the tune of $64.8 billion via his firm, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. In 2009, Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison and forced to forfeit $170 billion as restitution. He died in prison on April 14, 2021.