Ryan Salame, former co-chief executive officer of FTX Digital Markets (1)

Former FTX Executive Ryan Salame Sentenced to Seven and a Half Years in Prison

Ryan Salame, the former co-CEO of FTX’s Bahamian subsidiary, was sentenced to 90 months in prison on Tuesday. This decision comes after Salame pleaded guilty in September to making unlawful campaign donations totalling tens of millions of dollars to support causes favoured by Sam Bankman-Fried, FTX’s founder.

Salame’s sentencing follows the earlier conviction of Bankman-Fried, who received a 25-year prison sentence for embezzling $8 billion from FTX customers. Bankman-Fried was found guilty on seven counts of fraud and conspiracy in November, related to FTX’s collapse in 2022, which prosecutors have described as one of the largest financial frauds in U.S. history.

Prosecutors alleged that Salame, Bankman-Fried, and Nishad Singh, former FTX engineering chief, used customer funds from FTX to make donations to political candidates who supported cryptocurrency-friendly legislation.

In addition to his prison sentence, Salame, 30, was ordered to pay over $6 million in forfeiture and more than $5 million in restitution. He will also serve three years of supervised release following his prison term.

“Salame’s involvement in two serious federal crimes undermined public trust in American elections and the integrity of the financial system,” stated Damian Williams, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Salame, who was a significant donor in the 2022 election cycle, contributed over $24 million to Republican candidates and causes, according to Federal Election Commission data. His guilty plea included one count of conspiracy to make unlawful political contributions and one count of conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business.

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