Sam Bankman-Fried, former crypto-billionaire and founder of FTX, is awaiting sentencing on seven felony counts, including wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
While in New York's Metropolitan Detention Center, Bankman-Fried has adapted to the inmate economic system, using packaged mackerel, a popular currency among prisoners, to pay for services.
Bankman-Fried's recent polished haircut in New York courtrooms was reportedly paid for with packaged mackerel, a type of pelagic fish commonly used as currency among inmates.
"Macks," as the fish is known among inmates, has been the choice of currency in federal prisons since 2004, filling the void left by the banning of cigarettes.
The use of mackerel as currency gained popularity, and Global Source Marketing, a fish supplier, experienced increased demand.
The economic logic behind using food items like mackerel as currency lies in their stable value, providing a substitute for traditional currency that inmates cannot access.
Bankman-Fried, set to be sentenced on March 28, 2024, faces up to 110 years in prison for fraud charges and is also expected to stand trial for separate counts related to political bribery.
Food items like mackerel and tuna are stable commodities used as a means of exchange in place of inaccessible currency. These items have a steady value that can be pegged to the dollar.
Bankman-Fried faces sentencing on March 28, 2024, for fraud charges with a potential 110-year prison term. Also set to stand trial for separate counts related to political bribery.