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Sam Bankman-Fried Prison Photo

‘Crypto G’ Sam Bankman-Fried Captured Posing with Gangsters in Prison

The once high-flying crypto mogul Sam Bankman-Fried finds himself in a very different setting these days: a jail cell. Photographed for the first time in his prison attire, the 31-year-old can be seen rocking a shabby beard and appearing noticeably leaner. Most baffling, he stands alongside former gang members at New York’s Metropolitan Detention Center, a far cry from the lavish lifestyle he once enjoyed in the Bahamas.

Dubbed the ‘Crypto G’ by The Daily Mail, the photograph, initially shared by crime reporter Tiffany Fong, provides a peek into Bankman-Fried’s new reality. In an interview with another inmate and former Bloods gang member, known as G Lock, insights were offered into how the former billionaire is faring behind bars.

“Sam had a belly, he was eating good. he’s skinny like a toothpick, said G Lock.” He’s not getting a shower, he’s not doing anything. He didn’t snitch on nobody, Sam is a gangster. He’s a good guy, he really is. Weird as shit, can be strange. But he is a good guy. He’s not as clean-shaven as he used to be, but he’s obviously going through a lot right now.”

G Lock, in a somewhat tongue-in-cheek appeal, even called on President Joe Biden to pardon the disgraced mogul. Nice try, G Lock.

Sam Bankman-Fried

Bankman-Fried’s journey from crypto titan to criminal has been swift and dramatic. Following his conviction on all seven counts of fraud related to a USD$10 billion scam, he saw his once towering empire crumble (per The Daily Mail). From FTX’s valuation of USD$32 billion to facing the prospect of spending 115 years behind bars, his fall from grace has been a cautionary tale in the volatile world of cryptocurrency.

Prosecutors contended that Bankman-Fried orchestrated a complex scheme through his crypto exchange FTX and its affiliated company Alameda Research, described as a “pyramid of deceit,” to misappropriate billions. In response, his defence team, likening the trial’s dramatic nature to a movie, argued that the MIT math graduate had no intention of causing harm but rather made errors while managing two multi-billion dollar enterprises.

Sam Bankman-Fried
Image: Faith Atkas/Getty Images

Amid the cryptocurrency frenzy a few years back, Bankman-Fried capitalised on the fervour, with FTX peaking at a USD$32 billion valuation before its collapse in November 2022. Throughout his rise, he graced the cover of Forbes and shared stages with notable figures like Bill Clinton and Tony Blair, even being hailed as the future of finance.

However, prosecutors asserted during the trial that his public image masked a scheme to embezzle funds from FTX customers, characterising it as a “house of cards” that crumbled amidst plummeting crypto values and questions regarding the validity of FTX’s valuation, particularly in relation to its FTT cryptocurrency token. And as clients attempted to withdraw their funds, creating the crypto equivalent of a run on a bank, FTX ceased operations.

While acknowledging the repercussions of his actions and conceding to making significant errors, Bankman-Fried vehemently denied any fraudulent activity when questioned by his attorney, Mark Cohen. As the young man awaits his fate behind bars, all eyes are on March 28, when he will learn the full extent of his sentence.