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FTX Executive Ryan Salame Sentenced to 7.5 Years in Prison

FTX Executive Ryan Salame Sentenced to 7.5 Years in Prison

May 28, 2024

FTX Executive Ryan Salame Sentenced to 7.5 Years in Prison

Ryan Salame, the former executive of FTX’s Bahamas subsidiary, has been sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison after pleading guilty to criminal charges. Salame appeared in a Manhattan courtroom on Tuesday, following a plea agreement with federal prosecutors reached in September. The charges included violating campaign finance laws and operating an unlicensed money transmitter.

Prosecutors had recommended a sentence of five to seven years, while Salame's defense argued for a lesser term of 18 months or less, citing that Salame was misled by the fraudulent activities at FTX. His attorneys argued in a court memo, "And he was duped, as was everyone else, into believing that the companies were legitimate, solvent and wildly profitable."

Salame's sentencing may set a precedent for the treatment of other former FTX executives involved in the collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange. The government's case against ex-FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried benefited from the cooperation of three key witnesses—Gary Wang, Nishad Singh, and Caroline Ellison—all of whom have pled guilty to criminal charges and are scheduled for sentencing later in the year.

Despite not being a cooperating witness, Salame was noted to be the first to alert Bahamian authorities to potential fraud at FTX during its downfall. He also provided over 595,000 pages of documents to investigators.

Salame's trajectory saw him rise from an accountant to an executive at FTX after meeting Bankman-Fried at a conference in 2019. He was the CEO of FTX Digital Markets at the time of FTX's bankruptcy filing, which revealed the mishandling of customer funds.

Sam Bankman-Fried, sentenced to 25 years in prison in March, is planning an appeal. The case is being handled by the US District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan) under case number 22-cr-673.

Bloomberg Article


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