FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has been given some free advice on surviving federal prison by former white-collar criminal Martin Shkreli, also known as “Pharma Bro.”
Shkreli, who spent around four years behind bars for securities fraud between 2018 and 2022, said the currently-on-bail former FTX executive should consider shaving his head, deepening his voice and skill himself up on gang culture and rap music.
The former prison inmate was speaking on a Dec. 23 episode of the crypto podcast Unchained, where he suggested that SBF needed to rebrand himself for jail, as being a rich white kid from a good neighborhood doesn’t “sound great.”
“Sam isn’t exactly gonna be somebody that fits into prison,” Shkreli said, adding that his type of “sensibility is not something that goes over well” there, as it’s a “very testosterone-filled, masculine place.”
Alongside “shaving his head,” and “deepening his voice,” Shkreli outlined that SBF needs to make friends fast and embed himself in the culture of the prison system. For example, Pharma Bro said SBF should “ no longer say he’s from Stanford [University].”
“He also doesn’t know anything about the streets and criminal culture. My advice is to pick those things up as quickly as he can. He should be listening to as much rap music as possible. He should be trying everything there is to know about gangs.”
“This sounds funny, but this could save your life,” Shkreli added.
Meanwhile, another former convicted felon, Sam Antar — the former chief financial officer of the famously corrupt 1980s company Crazie Eddie — gave Bankman-Fried an alternative piece of advice: “JUMP BAIL AND RUN! [...] They can only hang you once.”
Shkreli appears to have developed a knack for giving crypto bad boys unsolicited advice about prison. During an appearance on the UpOnly podcast last month, Shkreli was a guest alongside Terra founder Do Kwon and told him:
“I just want to let you know, jail’s not that bad. It’s not the worst thing ever, so don’t fret. I hope it doesn’t happen. But if it does happen, it’s not that bad.”
“Good to know,” Kwon replied, rather awkwardly.
In an update on the unfolding SBF drama, the New York Post reported on Dec. 26 that workers were spotted installing security cameras outside his parent's house in Palo Alto, where the FTX founder is staying while on house arrest.
As it stands, SBF is required to wear an ankle monitor and can only leave his house for exercise and treatment for mental health and substance abuse. He also has stringent limits on what payments he can make.
He is set to face the courts again in early January.