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Ex-FTX Exec Ryan Salame Gets 7.5 Years, Hit with $11 Million Fine

2 mins
Updated by Daria Krasnova
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In Brief

  • Ryan Salame, ex-FTX executive, sentenced to 7.5 years for financial crimes linked to FTX's collapse.
  • Salame admitted to conspiracy for unlawful political contributions and operating an unlicensed money business.
  • Besides prison, Salame forfeits $11 million, properties, and a luxury car, and faces significant penalties.
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Ryan Salame, a former executive at the infamous cryptocurrency exchange FTX, received a 7.5-year prison sentence and an $11 million fine for his involvement in financial crimes.

The sentencing, delivered by Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, follows the collapse of FTX in November 2022.

Ryan Salame Sentenced to 7.5 Years and Sentence Details Following FTX Collapse

Salame, 30, was convicted of conspiracy to make unlawful political contributions and operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business. He admitted guilt to the charges, aligning with three other high-ranking executives from the crypto empire who also pled guilty. These admissions followed a sweeping federal investigation into FTX’s fraudulent activities, led by its founder Sam Bankman-Fried.

Salame’s sentence exceeds the prosecution’s recommended five to seven years. His defense team had sought an 18-month term, citing his cooperation with authorities and personal losses due to FTX’s collapse.

“Ryan Salame agreed to advance the interests of FTX, Alameda Research, and his co-conspirators through an unlawful political influence campaign and through an unlicensed money transmitting business, which helped FTX grow faster and larger by operating outside of the law.  Salame’s involvement in two serious federal crimes undermined public trust in American elections and the integrity of the financial system.  Today’s sentence underscores the substantial consequences for such offenses,” said US Attorney Damian Williams.

Read more: FTX Collapse Explained: How Sam Bankman-Fried’s Empire Fell

Salame played a key role in FTX’s growth, managing its operations in the Bahamas and engaging in lavish spending. His extravagant lifestyle included luxury cars, private jets, and restaurant investments. Moreover, he was a significant political donor, contributing over $24 million to the 2022 midterm elections, predominantly supporting Republican candidates. Salame’s political contributions were part of a larger scheme orchestrated by Bankman-Fried. Prosecutors revealed that Salame acted as a “straw donor,” channeling funds in violation of federal disclosure requirements.

Beyond imprisonment, Salame faces substantial financial penalties. He agreed to forfeit over $11 million, including a $6 million fine and $5 million in restitution. Additionally, he must surrender two properties in Massachusetts and a luxury vehicle.

Read more: Top Crypto Bankruptcies: What You Need To Know

Following FTX’s downfall, federal investigators targeted Salame and other key participants. The collapse revealed a staggering $8 billion fraud, implicating top executives in a range of financial crimes. Bankman-Fried, the central figure in the scandal, is serving a 25-year sentence for fraud and conspiracy.

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Shota Oba
After interning at a domestic blockchain media company while enrolled at a university in international relations, he worked as an intern trainee at two foreign crypto asset exchanges. Currently, as a journalist, he focuses on the Japanese crypto asset market, both technical and fundamental analysis. He has been trading crypto assets since 2021 and is interested in economic and social affairs.
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