FTX crypto founder Sam Bankman-Fried thought jail would be ‘like The Shawshank Redemption’: report

FTX crypto founder Sam Bankman-Fried thought jail would be ‘like The Shawshank Redemption’: report

Sam Bankman-Fried reportedly said that he thought his time in prison in the Bahamas would be like the 1994 classic film “The Shawshank Redemption.”

“I thought that it was going to be like The Shawshank Redemption,” the disgraced FTX founder and CEO told Forbes in an exclusive interview published Thursday. 

The motion picture starring Morgan Freeman was nominated for seven Academy Awards.

The former billionaire told the publication that he was assigned to a room with five other inmates in the facility’s infirmary, keeping him away from the general population. 


Sam Bankman-Fried

Sam Bankman-Fried, co-founder of FTX Cryptocurrency Derivatives Exchange, arrives at court in New York, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023.  (Stephanie Keith/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Bankman-Fried painted a vivid picture of life at Fox Hill, showering with a garden hose, drying off with a towel that was three inches by five inches and sleeping in the “worst possible bed that you can imagine, made of cardboard and a piece of semi-soft plastic on top of stilts.” 

Once the head of the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency exchange, he said he used his suit jacket that he wore for court appearances as a pillow. 

Fox Hill

The Bahamas Department of Corrections Fox Hill Prison, where FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried was being held on Dec. 20, 2022, in Nassau, Bahamas.  (Joe Raedle/Getty Images / Getty Images)

The 30-year-old made friends with the other inmates and did not feel in danger, although some of them asked him for money.


The worst part, he told Forbes, was the lack of internet. 

FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried in the Bahamas

FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried is escorted out of the Magistrate’s Court on Dec. 21, 2022, in Nassau, Bahamas.  (Joe Raedle/Getty Images / Getty Images)

“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, ” he said, noting that he would occasionally get access to a newspaper. 

Bankman-Fried claimed that he was limited to one 30-minute phone call during his entire stay, but was allowed to meet with his Bahamian lawyers daily.

FTX founder

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried leaves Manhattan Federal Court after his arraignment and bail hearings on Dec. 22, 2022, in New York City.  (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images / Getty Images)

In December, he waived his right to fight extradition and agreed to return to the U.S. to face charges. He flew on a private FBI plane to a local police station in White Plains, New York, and his lawyers agreed to a $250 million bail arrangement backed in part by his parents’ $4 million California home, where he is now confined wearing an electronic ankle bracelet. He pleaded not guilty to an array of federal charges he faces for allegedly defrauding customers and investors, entering his plea through his attorneys.


Bankman-Fried’s trial is set for Oct. 2.

Fox Business’ Breck Dumas, Marta Dhanis and Reuters contributed this report.

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