Sam Bankman-Fried expected to file appeal after first night in jail

EXCLUSIVE: Fallen crypto tycoon Sam Bankman-Fried ‘survives’ first night in Bahamas hellhole prison and could be released as early as TOMORROW – as US Embassy official is seen arriving at the facility

  • Sam Bankman-Fried ‘survived’ his first night at Nassau’s notorious Fox Hill detention facility after being jailed Tuesday, sources told DailyMail.com  
  • ‘It’s definitely tough in there, but he survived the first night. He’ll be OK. ‘This is a big place, but a lot of us know exactly who he is,’ the insider said 
  • The FTX founder could also have a good chance of obtaining bail if he successfully appeals the judge’s decision to remand him until at least February 8
  • On Wednesday morning, a senior representative from the US Embassy was seen arriving at the jail clutching paperwork, exclusive DailyMail.com photos show  
  • Bankman-Fried was remanded in custody in the Bahamas’ only prison on Tuesday as he fights extradition to the US on wire and securities fraud charges 

Fallen crypto tycoon Sam Bankman-Fried ‘survived’ his first night in a hellhole jail in the Bahamas without incident, DailyMail.com has been told exclusively.

The FTX currency exchange co-founder was hauled off in handcuffs to sprawling Fox Hill prison on Tuesday evening after being denied bail over accusations he defrauded investors of $1.8billion.

And the morning after the latest episode of the former billionaire’s crushing fall, a source at the sprawling jail complex in the island chain’s capital Nassau told DailyMail.com: ‘It’s definitely tough in there, but he survived the first night. He’ll be OK.

‘This is a big place, but a lot of us know exactly who he is.’

Sam Bankman-Fried, pictured leaving court Tuesday after being denied bail, ‘survived’ his first night at Nassau’s notorious Fox Hill detention facility, sources told DailyMail.com

The disgraced crypto billionaire was led away in handcuffs to sprawling Fox Hill prison Tuesday evening after being denied bail over accusations he defrauded investors of $1.8billion

Bankman-Fried is being assessed in the sick bay of the jail’s maximum security block with five other men, Bahamas acting Commissioner of Corrections Doan Cleare told local outlet Eyewitness News in Nassau.

‘It’s a shock to any inmate to come from home into a dormitory-style or cell-style environment but I saw him, I spoke to him last night and he seemed to be in good spirits,’ said Cleare.

‘He’s along with five other inmates in sickbay currently. He has to make the best of it. He’s in maximum security sickbay.’

Cleare also insisted: ‘Mr Fried is receiving no special treatment than any other inmate.’

‘That’s why he’s being assessed by our doctors and upon completion of the assessment the doctor will advise me what steps to go forward with. He has some conditions and once the assessment is complete we will see how it goes.’

Of Bankman-Fried’s vegan diet, Cleare said: ‘We do our best to acquire the various food that is necessary for a vegan diet.

‘Now in this case he is under severe strict diet… only the prison doctor can determine a dietary plan for an inmate.’ She added that officials will probably ask SBF’s parents to bring him in food as well.

DailyMail.com can reveal Bankman-Fried, who is accused of ‘one of the biggest financial frauds in American history’, might be released as early as Thursday if he succeeds with a plea for bail to the Supreme Court in Nassau.

And in another development, DailyMail.com witnessed a senior representative from the United States Embassy arriving at the jail Wednesday morning.

A Supreme Court source told us that Bankman-Fried, whose $32billion empire imploded overnight, could stand a good chance of winning bail if he launches an expected appeal against the decision by Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt to incarcerate him until at least February 8.

‘There hasn’t been any paperwork filed yet, but we’ve all been told to keep looking out for it,’ the source said. 

‘This could happen at any time. We’re definitely expecting it this week.’

General views of the Bahamas department of correctional services Fox Hill Nassau where Sam Bankman-Fried is being held detained

DailyMail.com can reveal a senior US Embassy representative arrived in a black Chevy Tahoe on Wednesday morning and spent 90 minutes at the rat-infested jail

The US diplomat was later seen back at the embassy in downtown Nassau, still clutching the paperwork

The source explained: ‘If you have a medical condition, which I know this gentleman does, you can apply for an urgent bail application.

‘You must have the correct proof in paperwork to be considered for it. But it can be a very straightforward process. It also applies if you are pregnant, elderly or there is no objection by The Crown.

‘Bankman-Fried might have to attend the hearing, or he could join it via video link. Either way, if the judge is satisfied that he meets the medical criteria then he could free him on the spot under bail conditions.’

The disgraced financial guru would have his case heard by Justice Bernard Turner.

‘We are well aware that Bankman-Fried is an international figure and if he does come in person there will be a lot of armed security, just like his court appearance before the magistrate,’ said the source.

During Tuesday’s marathon court hearing, it was revealed that SBF, as he likes to be known, takes medication for depression and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Meanwhile, DailyMail.com can reveal the female senior US Embassy representative spent 90 minutes at the rat-infested jail Wednesday morning after arriving in a black Chevrolet Tahoe with diplomatic license plates.

The vehicle was let through the first set of imposing sliding gates at the complex – which then closed before the diplomat got out and headed to the guard station carrying a manila envelope.

She then returned to the SUV, which drove swiftly into the main compound after the corresponding second set of sliding gates were opened. 

The official was later seen back at the embassy in downtown Nassau, still clutching the paperwork.

The jail, which is split into low, medium and high security areas, was bustling this morning. 

Prisoners dressed in rough looking uniforms of wide blue and gray stripes, could be seen in various work parties in the low security area beside the main entrance.

Prisoners dressed in rough looking uniforms of wide blue and gray stripes, could be seen in various work parties in the low security area beside the main entrance

A 2020 study by the Inter-American Development Bank found that 65 percent of inmates at Fox Hill said that drugs were easier to get inside the prison than outside

A prison officer at the facility said in 2019: ‘Dogs don’t deserve to live in the state that maximum security is in. There’s no ventilation’

Some trusted inmates were allowed on to the roadway outside to mow grass and tidy up verges.

However Bankman-Fried has been spared wearing uniform, the jail source told DailyMail.com.

‘For the first two weeks, all prisoners are kept in a different section of the jail for assessment and to check they don’t have Covid,’ they said.

‘He’s not going to be in prison uniform right now.’

Other prisoners could be spotted playing basketball. Some were in prison garb, while others were in their own clothes.

On Tuesday, a judge in Nassau ordered that the FTX founder be held without bail while he fights extradition to the United States on a range of charges that include securities and wire fraud. 

SBF, 30, had argued that he should be granted a $250,000 bail and house arrest because of his veganism, depression and dependency on medication.

Instead, Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt ordered that SBF must spend the next two months at the Bahamas’ infamous Fox Hill prison, known for its rodent infestations, violence and the mixing of children with adult prisoners, before his next court appearance on February 8. 

The facility was designed to hold 1,200 inmates but regularly incarcerates around 2,400 prisoners. 

Speaking exclusively to DailyMail.com, Bahamas-based attorney, Romona Farquarhson said that it was ‘very likely’ that SBF will be granted a hearing at the Bahamas’ Supreme Court, where he could still be given bail prior to February 8.

Farquarhson said that it’s unlikely that SBF will be held in Fox Hill’s general population but rather in the prison’s remand center. 

The prison is notorious for chronic overcrowding as well as rodent and maggot infestations

A separate 2021 Amnesty International study found that prisoners in Fox Hill did not have access to bathrooms and were forced to slop out

A US State Department study on the prison found that it was infested with rats and maggots while due to low staff numbers, the inmates were only allowed out of their cells for 30 minutes a week

The officer went on to say that inmates rarely leave their cells to shower because violence is so prevalent 

In a separate interview with the Wall Street Journal, Farquarhson said: ‘I think they’ve got to be careful not to have him in really rough areas in the prison.’ 

A US State Department study on the prison found that it was infested with rats and maggots while due to low staff numbers, the inmates were only allowed out of their cells for 30 minutes a week. 

One section of the study reads: ‘Many cells also lacked running water, and in those cells, inmates removed human waste by bucket.’

It continued: ‘Sanitation was a general problem, with cells infested with rats, maggots and insects. Ventilation was also a general problem. Prisoners in maximum security had access to sanitary facilities only one hour a day and used slop buckets as toilets.’

Another section said: ‘Prison inmates complained about the lack of beds and bedding. As a result, inmates developed bedsores from lying on the bare ground.’ 

While a study done years previously described the prison as ‘harsh’ and ‘primitive.’ There are a total of seven housing units in the prison, including maximum security, female and central intake. 

Throughout the prison, minors are sharing cells with adult prisoners.  

A separate 2021 Amnesty International study found that prisoners in Fox Hill did not have access to bathrooms and were forced to slop out. 

Suicides are common as mental health care for inmates is ‘virtually non-existent.’

Disgraced crypto CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is pictured leaving court in the Bahamas on Tuesday after he was denied bail by Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, attorney Romona Farquarhson said: ‘I think they’ve got to be careful not to have him in really rough areas in the prison

The study reads: ‘There have been repeated, unconfirmed, serious allegations of sexual abuse and rape which do not appear to have been adequately investigated by the authorities.’ 

An unnamed prison officer told the Nassau Guardian in a 2019 interview: ‘Dogs don’t deserve to live in the state that maximum security is in. There’s no ventilation. Boy, you don’t even know. Did you know that rats run up and down all day, every day? It’s not fit for humanity.’ 

The officer went on to say that inmates rarely leave their cells to shower because violence is so prevalent.  

A former inmate of Fox Hill, Matthew Sewell, who was wrongly imprisoned on sexual assault charges in 2015, told the Jamaican Gleaner: ‘I was beaten and stabbed several times, and had to fight to stay alive.’

Speaking about spending time in solitary confinement, Sewell said: ‘The only movements I could feel in that cell was rats crawling over my body.’ While Sewell said that he developed a chronic skin disease due to exposure to rodents. 

He added: ‘Fox Hill is a very dangerous prison. I was treated like a dog and placed on the condemned block with hardened criminals. It was only through the grace of God that I survived.’ 

In 2019, a Bahamian pastor who was convicted of rape charges in the United States, begged a judge in his homeland to send him back to the US to see out his 20 year sentence. 

The pastor, Don Martin, escaped to the Bahamas while on trial in Georgia. However, after he was apprehended by authorities in Nassau and put in Fox Hill prison, he wanted out. 

When a judge told him that he would be extradited, Martin said: ‘Thank you. I have been threatened by gangs. Fox Hill ain’t no place to nobody to stay in. I am ready to go,’ according to the Tribune News Network. 

Sam Bankman-Fried is shown in court in the Bahamas on Tuesday in this photo from CoinDesk being denied bail 

SBF begged the judge to grant him bail of $250,000 citing his depression and veganism as reasons that he should not be remanded in custody

A 2020 study by the Inter-American Development Bank found that 65 percent of inmates at Fox Hill said that drugs were easier to get inside the prison than outside.   

Sam Bankman-Fried  is accused of defrauding investors out of $1.8billion by convincing them his trading platform FTX was safe to use. He has been holed up in the Bahamas for weeks, but today was denied bail after prosecutors argued in court that he was a flight risk. 

They claimed he hid $300million in a Brazilian fund in September, months before the collapse of his crypto trading platform, as a means of setting himself up for an escape when the inevitable happened. 

Prosecutors say he used the platform as a ‘personal piggy bank’ to fund a lavish lifestyle and make whopping political donations. 

Meanwhile US Attorney Damian Williams told reporters at a press conference on Tuesday that there will be further charges in the Southern District of New York’s pursuit of Sam Bankman-Fried. 

Williams said: ‘It’s so hard to compare these things but…this is one of the biggest financial frauds in American history.’

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