Disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried will spend the months leading up to his October fraud trial in a Brooklyn jail over “reprehensible” conditions for inmates, which include Jeffrey Epstein’s former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell. was convicted.
U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan last Friday ordered Bankman-Fried’s detention at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn for allegedly leaking the personal writings of his former lover and business partner Caroline Ellison to a New York Times reporter.
The Metropolitan Detention Center has come under intense scrutiny in recent years as it struggles with severe staff shortages and dire conditions such as maggot-infested food, dirty cells and power outages.
In 2019, inmates suffered from freezing temperatures after an electrical fire caused the facility’s heating and lights to go out.
Former inmates include Maxwell – whose legal team once called the facility “reprehensible and utterly inappropriate” – and exiled Chinese businessman Guo Wengui, who pleaded not guilty to the fraud charges.
Maxwell’s attorneys said raw sewage entered her cell and compared the conditions on the 2021 files to those of imprisoned fictional character Hannibal Lecter in the 1991 film The Silence of the Lambs “despite the absence of the cage and plastic face shield.” .
Guo’s legal team described MDC as “an extremely dangerous environment.”
Earlier this year, a lawyer claimed that Brooklyn jail officials “covered up” a stabbing attack on his client, a convicted car thief.
Prosecutors argued that Bankman-Fried essentially committed witness tampering by leaking the paperwork ahead of a trial in which Ellison – who has already pleaded guilty to fraud allegations related to her work at FTX-affiliated crypto hedge fund Alameda Research has known – is expected to be a witness key witness.
Bankman-Fried’s defense attorney Mark Cohen immediately announced that he would appeal the judge’s decision. Kaplan denied Cohen’s request for a stay of the detention order pending an appeal.
The defense team argued that Bankman-Fried was entitled to speak to the press and accused prosecutors of pushing for his incarceration on the basis of “innuendo, speculation and tenuous facts.”
Acknowledging the defense’s concerns about MDC, Kaplan stated that the prison “is not on anyone’s list of five-star facilities.” Bankman-Fried’s attorneys had asked that he be held in a minimum-security prison in Putnam County, New York.
The federal judge’s decision to revoke Bankman-Fried’s release on bail marked the latest turning point in the former billionaire’s roller coaster ride.
The former crypto boss was originally arrested in the Bahamas late last year and locked up in a local jail that was riddled with rats and maggots and known for “harsh” conditions like “overcrowding, poor nutrition, inadequate sanitation, and inadequate medical care.” ‘ according to the US State Department.
A warden at Bajamas Prison, known as Fox Hill Prison, once said it was “not humane”.
From there, Bankman-Fried was transferred to US custody and eventually released on a record $250 million bond.
Until last week, he was under house arrest at his parents’ mansion in Palo Alto, California.
Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty to a number of fraud charges related to FTX’s demise.
Federal authorities say he bilked FTX clients out of billions of dollars – money he allegedly used to fund a lavish lifestyle that included buying luxury homes in the Bahamas.
His trial is scheduled to begin on October 2nd.
With post wires