Sources close to the situation have revealed that FTX’s founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, is adapting to his new life at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York. Insiders indicate that Bankman-Fried is becoming familiar with the prison’s unique economy, having reportedly exchanged mackerel packets for a haircut.
From Trading Crypto to ‘Mack Packs’ — Bankman-Fried’s New Currency in Prison Life
Recently, inside sources have reported on former FTX chief Sam Bankman-Fried‘s adjustment to prison life. Following the revocation of his bail due to allegations of witness tampering, Bankman-Fried was confined to the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn, New York. Since his conviction in November 2023, he has been residing there, currently awaiting sentencing after being convicted on seven distinct federal charges.
According to a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report by James Fanelli and Corinne Ramey, sources “familiar with the matter” reveal that Bankman-Fried has discovered the unique currency of mackerel packets in prison. These sources allege that Bankman-Fried, the former crypto executive, has adapted by using “mack packs” as payment for services like a haircut while incarcerated at MDC.
Mackerel packets have been a standard form of currency among prisoners since 2004, following the ban on cigarettes in federal prisons, thus elevating mack packs to the preferred trading medium. It is well documented that these mackerel packets, valued at roughly $1 in the prison commissary, can fetch a higher price due to their scarcity.
Prisoners are generally limited to buying 14 packets per week. Inmates typically keep their mack packs in personal storage areas such as lockers or designated spaces in their living quarters. Besides being prison-money, canned mackerel has become a hot commodity globally in recent times, and it is estimated to be a $1.5 billion business by 2031.
Canned mackerel in oil is highly regarded for its flavor, quality, and longevity in terms of shelf life. When unopened and stored correctly, this type of canned mackerel can retain its peak quality for three to five years. Conversely, even an opened can of mackerel, if stored under proper conditions, can preserve its optimal quality for about 3 months.
In an intriguing twist, the WSJ further reports that Bankman-Fried has been offering crypto trading advice to correctional officers at MDC. Additionally, he is reportedly sharing a dormitory with former Honduran president Juan Orlando Hernández, who is accused of accepting bribes from cocaine traffickers. This surprising pairing puts Bankman-Fried in close quarters with a prominent figure in international politics and alleged criminal activity.
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