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FTX’s Salame Set to Plead Guilty after Prolonged Negotiations with Prosecutors: Report

by Jared Kirui
  • Ryan Salame’s plea followed closely behind the impending trial of Sam Bankman-Fried.
  • There are speculations that he may face violations related to political donation regulations.
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Ryan Salame, a Former Executive at FTX, prepares to plead guilty to his related involvement in the collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange. This turn of events comes after the extended negotiations with the prosecutors. The executive is scheduled to appear in a Manhattan federal court today (Thursday) to plead guilty, according to the people familiar with the matter.

Salame served as the Co-Chief Executive at FTX’s Bahamas subsidiary. His decision to plead guilty follows the impending trial of Sam Bankman-Fried, who faces allegations of orchestrating a multi-billion fraud scheme. Prosecutors contend that Bankman-Fried misappropriated FTX's customer funds for personal expenditure, high-risk investments in Alameda Research, and political donations.

Salame Accused of Being SBF’s "Straw Donor"

Throughout his tenure at FTX, Salame was not only a key executive but also a prolific contributor to Republican political campaigns. According to a report by Bloomberg, he reportedly channeled USD $24 million to political parties. Besides that, Prosecutors indicated that Bankman Fried used Salame alongside other FTX executives as "straw donors."

It remains to be seen whether Salame’s intended guilty plea signifies his willingness to cooperate with the prosecutors and testify against Bankman-Fried. Three of Bankman-Fried’s close associates: Caroline Ellison, the CEO of Alameda; Gary Wang, the Co-Founder of FTX; and Nishad Singh, engineering chief, have already pleaded guilty and are cooperating with the authorities.

Last month, Finance Magnates reported that although Salame had not been formally charged in connection with FTX’s collapse, he may face violations related to political donation regulations. Salame is alleged to have received substantial loans from Alameda Research, the hedge fund affiliated with FTX.

Further complicating matters, authorities reportedly traced a private jet purchased by Salame during his tenure at FTX. Sources suggest that the jet may become part of the plea deal, either surrendered or sold to help recover customers’ funds. Additionally, Salame is said to have acquired five restaurants in Massachusetts worth USD $6 million after joining the company.

Bankman-Fried Appeals Jail Decision as Trial Nears

Meanwhile, Bankman-Fried is contesting the decision by Judge Lewis Kaplan to imprison him before the trial begins. This move comes in response to the accusations of attempting to tamper with witnesses in the lawsuit related to FTX’s collapse. His lawyers initiated an appeal at the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals, contesting the judge’s decision to revoke his bail.

In light of this matter, a recent court order obtained by Coindesk indicates that Sam Bankman-Fried’s legal defense team had been granted unlimited prison visits to consult with the disgraced entrepreneur. This decision was reportedly aimed to facilitate trial preparation as Bankman-Fried’s criminal trial is set to commence on October 3.

Ryan Salame, a Former Executive at FTX, prepares to plead guilty to his related involvement in the collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange. This turn of events comes after the extended negotiations with the prosecutors. The executive is scheduled to appear in a Manhattan federal court today (Thursday) to plead guilty, according to the people familiar with the matter.

Salame served as the Co-Chief Executive at FTX’s Bahamas subsidiary. His decision to plead guilty follows the impending trial of Sam Bankman-Fried, who faces allegations of orchestrating a multi-billion fraud scheme. Prosecutors contend that Bankman-Fried misappropriated FTX's customer funds for personal expenditure, high-risk investments in Alameda Research, and political donations.

Salame Accused of Being SBF’s "Straw Donor"

Throughout his tenure at FTX, Salame was not only a key executive but also a prolific contributor to Republican political campaigns. According to a report by Bloomberg, he reportedly channeled USD $24 million to political parties. Besides that, Prosecutors indicated that Bankman Fried used Salame alongside other FTX executives as "straw donors."

It remains to be seen whether Salame’s intended guilty plea signifies his willingness to cooperate with the prosecutors and testify against Bankman-Fried. Three of Bankman-Fried’s close associates: Caroline Ellison, the CEO of Alameda; Gary Wang, the Co-Founder of FTX; and Nishad Singh, engineering chief, have already pleaded guilty and are cooperating with the authorities.

Last month, Finance Magnates reported that although Salame had not been formally charged in connection with FTX’s collapse, he may face violations related to political donation regulations. Salame is alleged to have received substantial loans from Alameda Research, the hedge fund affiliated with FTX.

Further complicating matters, authorities reportedly traced a private jet purchased by Salame during his tenure at FTX. Sources suggest that the jet may become part of the plea deal, either surrendered or sold to help recover customers’ funds. Additionally, Salame is said to have acquired five restaurants in Massachusetts worth USD $6 million after joining the company.

Bankman-Fried Appeals Jail Decision as Trial Nears

Meanwhile, Bankman-Fried is contesting the decision by Judge Lewis Kaplan to imprison him before the trial begins. This move comes in response to the accusations of attempting to tamper with witnesses in the lawsuit related to FTX’s collapse. His lawyers initiated an appeal at the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals, contesting the judge’s decision to revoke his bail.

In light of this matter, a recent court order obtained by Coindesk indicates that Sam Bankman-Fried’s legal defense team had been granted unlimited prison visits to consult with the disgraced entrepreneur. This decision was reportedly aimed to facilitate trial preparation as Bankman-Fried’s criminal trial is set to commence on October 3.

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