Sam Bankman-Fried is back in NYC prison for his appeal


United States officials have returned former cryptocurrency exchange FTX CEO Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried to the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn after a brief stint at a transfer facility in Oklahoma.

As of June 4, inmate records for the Federal Bureau of Prisons showed that Bankman-Fried was being held at MDC Brooklyn after roughly a week at the Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City. Many speculated that authorities intended to transfer the former FTX CEO to a San Francisco Bay Area prison near his parents’ California home.

It’s unclear what led to SBF’s return to New York. His lawyers had requested that the former FTX CEO remain at MDC Brooklyn to assist in his appeal of his conviction and sentencing. Judge Lewis Kaplan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York — who oversaw SBF’s criminal trial and sentencing — also recommended that he stay in the state.

Source: Federal Bureau of Prisons

In November 2023, a jury convicted Bankman-Fried of seven felony counts related to the misuse of customer funds at FTX and Alameda Research. In March, Judge Kaplan sentenced SBF to 25 years in prison. Bankman-Fried’s legal team filed a notice to appeal on April 11. At the time of publication, no filings appeared on the court docket suggesting on what grounds SBF intended to appeal.

Bankman-Fried was one of the only individuals tied to the collapse of FTX and Alameda to plead not guilty and face a jury. On May 28, Judge Kaplan sentenced Ryan Salame, the former co-CEO of Bahamas-based FTX Digital Markets, to 90 months in prison. Other former executives involved in the exchange’s collapse — Caroline Ellison, Gary Wang and Nishad Singh — have pleaded guilty and await sentencing.

Almost immediately following his sentencing hearing, Salame posted on social media platform X for the first time since November 2022. He has suggested that he publish a “complete memoir of [his] time at FTX and Alameda.” In contrast, Bankman-Fried has not posted to X since January 2023 and rarely spoke to the media amid his trial.

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After being sentenced to four months in prison for violating U.S. money laundering laws, former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao reported to the Federal Correctional Institution in Lompoc, California. Zhao suggested he plans to “write something” during his incarceration, expected to end by October 2024.

Alex Mashinsky will be the next once-prominent figure in the crypto space to face criminal charges after SBF and Zhao. The former Celsius CEO’s criminal trial will begin in January 2025.

Magazine: ‘Less flashy’ Mashinsky set for less jail time than SBF: Inner City Press, X Hall of Flame