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Ex-FTX Exec Ryan Salame Sentenced to 7.5 Years in Prison After September Guilty Plea


The former CEO of FTX’s Bahamas subsidiary was sentenced Tuesday (May 28) to a prison term longer than the prosecutors had asked for.

Ryan Salame was sentenced to 7.5 years in prison by a U.S. judge after prosecutors sought a term of five to seven years and the defense asked for 18 months or less, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.

With this sentence, Salame, who reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors in September, became the first of FTX Co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s close associates to be sentenced for charges relating to the collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange and its affiliated companies, according to the report.

Salame pleaded guilty to campaign finance law violations and operating an unlicensed money transmitter, the report said.

Bankman-Fried was sentenced in March to a 25-year term.

Three other executives affiliated with FTX and its companies — FTX Co-founder Gary Wang, Chief Engineer Nishad Singh and Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison — pleaded guilty to criminal charges and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors during the trial of Bankman-Fried in hopes of receiving lighter sentences, according to the report.

They could be sentenced later this year, the report said.

Salame did not agree to be a cooperating witness, although he did tell Bahamian authorities about potential fraud at the company during its collapse and handed over 595,000 pages of documents to authorities, per the report.

He joined FTX sister company Alameda Research in 2019 and then rose to become CEO of FTX Digital Markets by the time the companies filed for bankruptcy, according to the report.

It was reported in August that Salame was the key point man behind FTX’s political donation machine, allegedly spending $24 million, and that he was known for his close ties to Bankman-Fried during his time at FTX.

During Salame’s trial, his lawyers tried to distance him from the fraud that took place at FTX, saying that he was duped into believing that the companies were legitimate, per the Bloomberg report.

His sentence could signal the sort of decisions the judge could make in the cases of the other defendants, the report said.