Crypto Updates

FTX’s Former Executive Ryan Salame Sentenced to Over 7 Years for Fraud and Conspiracy

The Rise, the Fall and the Reaction

Ryan Salame, once a high-ranking executive at the
cryptocurrency exchange FTX, has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison for
fraud charges and conspiracy to operate unlicensed money-transmitting business,
the Financial Times reported.

Ryan Salame, aged 30, pled guilty to election fraud
charges and conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money-transmitting business.
His crimes were linked to Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto empire FTX, which crumbled in
late 2022. Salame is among four former top FTX managers who admitted guilt,
joining Caroline Ellison, Nishad Singh, and Gary Wang. However, unlike his
colleagues, Salame did not testify against Bankman-Fried.

In March, Bankman-Fried was sentenced to a 25-year
sentence for embezzling billions from FTX customers and investors. Salame’s
lesser but still significant sentence reflects his role in facilitating
unlawful political donations and other financial irregularities.

Salame joined Alameda Research, an affiliate of FTX, in 2019 and later became co-chief executive of FTX’s Bahamian branch. He played a key role in FTX’s political contributions, acting as a “straw donor” to channel over $100 million into US political campaigns ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. These donations aimed to obtain favor with
both major political parties.

Salame admitted that these funds came from an Alameda
subsidiary and were categorized as loans he never intended to repay. His
activities involved meeting with high-profile politicians, including Republican
Senator Mitch McConnell and former Congressman Kevin McCarthy.

Prosecutors and Defense Arguments

Prosecutors argued for a seven-year sentence,
emphasizing the gravity of the campaign finance offense, which involved more
than 300 political donations. They described it as “one of the largest-ever in
American history.” Salame ultimately received a 90-month prison sentence.

Salame’s lawyers had sought a lighter sentence, no
more than 18 months, arguing that Salame was as shocked as anyone by FTX’s
fraudulent activities. They contended he was not part of Bankman-Fried’s
closest circle and did not anticipate the collapse of the crypto giant.

Damian Williams, the US Attorney in Manhattan,
underscored the broader impact of Salame’s actions. He stated that Salame’s
crimes significantly aided FTX’s rapid growth by circumventing legal
boundaries, thereby eroding public trust in American elections and the
financial system.

Last year, US authorities reportedly traced a…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at CryptoCurrency – Finance Magnates | Financial and business news…