Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Andrea Blanco

Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli gives disgraced FTX boss Sam Bankman-Fried advice on surviving jail time

Unchained podcast

Infamous “Pharma bro” Martin Shkreli has given jail advice to disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried.

Speaking to crypto journalist Laura Shin on her podcast Unchained, Shkreli predicted Mr Bankman-Fried, who recently dodged a prison stay by posting $250M bail as he awaits trial on fraud charges, could face some challenges if convicted.

“Sam is going to have a lot of issues because he is a bit of an effeminate guy and his demeanour, some people say autistic sort of sense, or sensibility, is not something that goes over well in prison,” Shkreli told Ms Shin on Friday’s episode.

Shkreli, who received his “Pharma bro” nickname after his company raised the price of the life-saving drug Daraprim from $13.50 to $750, then delved into the survival tips that helped him blend in federal prison between his 2018 security fraud conviction and early release this year.

“He should be listening to as much rap music as possible … pick those things up as quickly as he can,” Shkreli said. “Learn everything there is to know about gangs, about the tough neighbourhoods in every city.”

Shkreli added that Mr Bankman-Fried should shave his hair and deepen his voice in order to fit in the “very testosterone-filled, masculine” prison environment.

The advice, Shkreli said, could be the difference between life and death.

“He probably should no longer say that he’s from Stamford or something. He can say that he’s from Oakland, I think that people would rather hear him lie than hear the truth,” Shkreli said on the Unchained podcast.

“Even if they know it’s a bit of a lie, he should probably start to reinvent his background and history because the rich white kid from a good neighbourhood ... that story doesn’t sound great.”

Cryptocurrency entrepreneur Sam Bankman-Fried leaves Manhattan federal court on bail on Thursday 22 December (EPA)

Mr Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas, where his company was headquartered, on December 13.

He is accused of allegedly carrying out “one of the biggest financial frauds in US history” after FTX collapsed in early November.

Mr Bankman-Fried has accepted that there were risk-management failures at FTX but says that he has not acted criminally.

Last week, a federal judge in Manhattan ruled that Mr Bankman-Fried could be released on bail in an agreement drawn up between prosecutors and his defence team.

He was required to surrender his passport and live at his parents’ home in Palo Alto, California under house arrest.

Mr Bankman-Fried will appear again in court on 3 January.

If convicted, he faces up to 115 years in prison.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.