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News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. Jan. 26, 2023: Suspected fraudster, entrepreneur, investor, and former billionaire, FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried, is speaking out on what it was like to be in jail in the Bahamas.

In an exclusive interview with Forbes’ Steven Ehrlich, Bankman-Fried, who choose extradition overstaying in jail in The Bahamas and awaiting trial, said Bahamas police showed up at this Bahamas home and he was given five minutes to collect medicine and a few other things on December 13, 2022, before he was escorted in handcuffs to the police station.

He said his request for bail was denied in three minutes and he was then taken into custody and sent to relative isolation in the Bahamas’ notorious Fox Hill prison to await an extradition hearing on February 10, 2023.

Bankman-Fried told Forbes that his cell in Fox Hill was a 20-foot-square green and yellow room that he shared with five other inmates, in the prison’s infirmary. The infirmary, according to his account to Forbes, had a private bathroom with a door, but there was no way to flush the toilet other than pouring a bucket of water into it. The phone-booth-sized shower was moldy and instead of a showerhead, Bankman-Fried told Forbes he took cold showers using a garden hose and dried off with a towel that was 3 inches by 5 inches.

He ate largely peanut butter, stale Wonder Bread and fresh fruit.

Bankman-Fried described his sleeping arrangement as “the worst possible bed that you could imagine, made of cardboard and a piece of semi-soft plastic on top of stilts.” There were no pillows so he rolled up the navy-blue suit jacket he would wear in court appearances.

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried (C) in custody in the Bahamas on December 13, 2022, accused of committing one of the biggest financial frauds in US history. (Photo by MARIO DUNCANSON/AFP via Getty Images)

Bankman-Fried said he made friends with other inmates but never once felt he was in danger. Some of them, he said asked him for money.

But he said the worst part of his nine-day Bahamian incarceration was the lack of internet. But he said he would occasionally get access to a newspaper and was limited to one 30-minute phone call during his entire stay but was allowed to meet with his Bahamian lawyers daily.

“I didn’t realize how much more important than everything else combined Internet access is to me, but that was like 80% of the total cost of being in prison,” Bankman-Fried was quoted as saying.

By the end of his first week in jail, Bankman-Fried reports that he was going insane.

On December 19th, he waived his right to fight extradition and agreed to return to the U.S. to face charges.

He is now confined to his parents’ $4 million home, wearing an electronic ankle bracelet.

 Bankman-Fried’s trial is set for October 2. He faces eight charges related to the collapse of his former crypto exchange FTX and hedge fund Alameda Research.

Amnesty International in December said there was “unacceptably overcrowded accommodation was evidenced in all prison units,” in the Bahamas, “seriously affecting the living conditions for inmates and the working conditions for staff.”

“Cells were dark and fetid, and many prisoners slept on cardboard,” AI added in ‘BAHAMAS – Forgotten Detainees?’

The US State Department, in its 2021 Human Rights report, said: “Conditions at the government’s only prison, the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services (BDCS) facility commonly known as Fox Hill Prison, were harsh due to overcrowding, poor nutrition, inadequate sanitation, and inadequate medical care. …. Overcrowding, poor sanitation, and inadequate access to medical care were problems in the BDCS men’s maximum-security block. The facility was designed to accommodate 1,000 prisoners but was chronically overcrowded. Juvenile pretrial detainees were held with adults at the BDCS remand center, a minimum-security section of the prison.”

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