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U.S. prosecutors seek five to seven year sentence for FTX’s Ryan Salame

u-s-prosecutors-seek-five-to-seven-year-sentence-for-ftxs-ryan-salame
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U.S. prosecutors seek five to seven year sentence for FTX’s Ryan Salame

Former FTX executive Ryan Salame faces a potential five to seven years in prison as prosecutors emphasize the gravity of his criminal activities.

Federal prosecutors have recommended that former FTX executive Ryan Salame serve five to seven years in prison for his involvement in the collapse of the FTX crypto exchange. In a sentencing memo filed in federal court in Manhattan, U.S. prosecutors emphasized that Salame has committed “serious crimes, and a substantial sentence is required to ensure that Salame receives just punishment,” as reported by Bloomberg.

“The campaign finance offense is one of the largest-ever in American history, and the unlicensed money transmitting business exchanged more than $1 billion without proper supervision.”

U.S. prosecutors

Salame, who pleaded guilty to a campaign finance law violation and a charge of operating an unlicensed money transmitting business, is set to be sentenced on May 28. Other key figures in the scandal, such as Caroline Ellison, Nishad Singh, and Gary Wang, are still awaiting their sentences.

In the meantime, Salame’s legal team is seeking to contest the sentencing recommendation, highlighting his cooperation with authorities.

“He has been a good man who has done much good in this world, who conspired to commit two crimes while in the thrall of a criminal leader.”

Salame’s attorneys

As part of his plea deal, Salame agreed to forfeit nearly $6 million worth of assets, including a restaurant in Massachusetts.

Ryan Salame joined Alameda Research, FTX’s hedge fund, in 2019 after meeting Bankman-Fried at a blockchain conference. Later on, he became the CEO of FTX’s Bahamas subsidiary. Prosecutors allege that it was Salame who helped FTX accept customer deposits through a U.S. bank account without the necessary licenses. As per the report, Salame also acted as a straw donor, fueling millions in political donations.

FTX collapsed in November 2022 amid allegations of embezzlement and misappropriation of billions of dollars in customer funds involving its owners and affiliated hedge fund Alameda Research. Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of the exchange, was sentenced to 25 years in prison and ordered to reimburse $11 billion.

In early May, reports surfaced indicating that FTX had amassed billions more than required to cover its collapse-related losses, a development FTX CEO John Ray hailed as an “unbelievable result,” indicating the exchange’s readiness to fully reimburse its over 2 million customers.