Former FTX exec Ryan Salame sentenced to 7.5 years in prison


Ryan Salame, a former high-ranking official at FTX and its sister firm Alameda Research, has been sentenced to seven and a half years in prison, the Department of Justice announced Tuesday.

The U.S. District Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York said in a press release that Salame, 30, was sentenced to 90 months behind bars after previously pleading guilty to conspiring to make illegal political contributions and defraud the Federal Election Commission (FEC), and conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money-transmitting business.

former FTX executive Ryan Salame

Ryan Salame, a former high-ranking official at FTX and its sister firm Alameda Research, has been sentenced to seven and a half years in prison. (Gillian Jones/Berkshire Eagle)

“Salame’s involvement in two serious federal crimes undermined public trust in American elections and the integrity of the financial system,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement. “Today’s sentence underscores the substantial consequences for such offenses.” 

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Salame was also ordered by Judge Lewis Kaplan to forfeit more than $6 million and to pay more than $5 million in restitution. He has reportedly invested more than $6 million in restaurants and small businesses in the town of Lenox, Massachusetts.

The FTX Cryptocurrency Derivatives Exchange logo on a laptop screen

FTX filed for bankruptcy in November 2021 amid a “run on the bank.” (Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via / Getty Images)

Salame was a high-level executive at Alameda from 2019 to 2021, and was named co-CEO of FTX’s Bahamaian affiliate FTX Digital in October 2021 – the month before FTX collapsed.

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Bahamian officials claimed in court filings that Salame tipped them off about client fund transfers from the crypto exchange to sister company Alameda two days before the platform filed for bankruptcy in November 2021, and pointed to other FTX leaders, including founder Sam Bankman-Fried.

Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried

Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried arrives for a bail hearing at Manhattan Federal Court on Aug. 11, 2023 in New York City. (Michael M. Santiago / Getty Images)

Federal prosecutors say Salame conspired with Bankman-Fried and fellow FTX executive Nishad Singh to make tens of millions of dollars’ worth of unlawful political donations starting in 2020.

Bankman-Fried, 32, was found guilty in November on two counts of wire fraud and five counts of conspiracy following the collapse of his crypto empire. FTX had merged assets with sister hedge fund Alameda Research amid cash problems, leading waves of customers to withdraw funds. Bankman-Fried was indicted the next month.

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Kaplan sentenced Bankman-Fried to 25 years in prison in March. He is appealing both the conviction and the sentence.

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