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FTX's Ryan Salame Sentenced to 7.5 Years in Prison

Salame pled guilty to a litany of charges in September.
Jack Inabinet Jack Inabinet May 28, 20241 min read
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FTX's Ryan Salame Sentenced to 7.5 Years in Prison

Former FTX executive Ryan Salame was sentenced to 90 months in a federal penitentiary, three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $11M in fines and restitution for his role in the bankrupt exchange’s illegal shenanigans. 

What’s the scoop?

  • Key Person: Salame served as a high-ranking officer at Alameda Research for three years before taking over as co-CEO of the Bahamian-based FTX Digital Markets Ltd., FTX’s primary entity for international operations.
  • Guilty Plea: Last September, Salame pled guilty to charges of unlawful political contributions, defrauding the Federal Election Commission, and operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business in relation to his role at Alameda and FTX.
  • Political Operative: While FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried had publicly aligned himself with the political left, Alameda secretly transferred tens of millions of dollars to Salame, mis-categorized as loans. The transfer scheme was successful in obfuscating the source of these funds, which Salame used to make over 300 donations in hopes of garnering right-wing support for pro-FTX legislative policies.
  • Customer Asset Abuse: During his time at FTX, Salame conspired with other FTX employees to operate an unlicensed money transmission business and used multiple entities to transmit customer funds without a license. Further, members of this conspiracy made false statements to US banks to maintain their unlawful business. 

Bankless Take:

For the many crypto market participants who were blindsided by the sudden implosion of FTX and for the unwitting victims of this fraud who unfortunately had assets trapped on the platform, Salame’s sentencing provides yet another moment of closure and reminder that no one is above the law.

 

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Jack Inabinet

Written by Jack Inabinet

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Jack Inabinet is a Senior Analyst with a passion for exploring the bleeding edge of crypto and finance. Prior to joining Bankless, Jack worked as an analyst at HAL Real Estate where he conducted market research and financial analysis for commercial apartment development and acquisition activities in the Seattle region. He graduated from the University of Washington’s Michael G. Foster School of Business and remains based out of the Seattle area.

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