Ryan Salame, a former high-ranking official at Alameda Research and co-CEO of bankrupt crypto exchange FTX, has been sentenced to 90 months in prison for his involvement in what the US Southern District of New York calls “illegal political contributions” and operating an unlicensed money transmitter business. 

Conspiracy Charges In Financial And Political Schemes

The sentencing, delivered by US District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, follows Salame’s guilty plea to conspiracy to defraud the Federal Election Commission and conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money-transmitting business. 

The United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Damian Williams, emphasized Salame’s actions’ consequences, which undermined public trust in American elections and the integrity of the financial system.

According to court filings and statements made during the proceedings, Ryan Salame served as a top official at Alameda Research, FTX’s trading arm founded by Samuel Bankman-Fried, from 2019 to 2021. In October 2021, Salame was appointed co-CEO of FTX’s Bahamian affiliate, FTX Digital Markets Ltd.

FTX Executive’s Covert Contributions

In addition to the unlicensed money-transmitting business, U.S. authorities allege that Salame conspired with Bankman-Fried and FTX executive Nishad Singh to make campaign contributions that concealed Bankman-Fried’s connection to the contributions. 

These contributions, totaling “tens of millions of dollars,” were intended to enhance Bankman-Fried’s standing in Washington, D.C., raise FTX’s profile, and curry favor with candidates who might sponsor legislation favorable to FTX, Alameda, or Bankman-Fried’s agenda. 

In addition to the 90-month prison term, Ryan Salame was sentenced to three years of supervised release. He has also been ordered to pay over $6 million in forfeiture and more than $5 million in restitution for the financial harm caused by his actions.

FTX
The daily chart shows the exchange’s native token FTT’s sideways price action. Source: FTTUSD on TradingView.com

Featured image from Bloomberg, chart from TradingView.com 

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