Former FTX Exec Ryan Salame Asks for Lenient 18 Months in Prison

Salame's attorneys highlight that he wasn't involved in the core fraud perpetuated by Sam Bankman-Fried, and he has had nearly his entire net worth destroyed by the implosion of FTX.

AccessTimeIconMay 15, 2024 at 5:46 a.m. UTC
Updated May 15, 2024 at 6:54 a.m. UTC
  • Attorneys for former FTX executive Ryan Salame are asking for 18 months in prison, citing his cooperation with authorities and remorse.
  • They argue that Salame wasn’t involved in the core fraud perpetrated by Bankman-Fried’s inner circle.

Attorneys for Ryan Salame, a former FTX executive who pled guilty to election fraud charges in September, are asking the court for leniency in the form of an 18-month sentence, according to a sentencing memorandum filed on Tuesday.

While at FTX and Alameda, Salame managed wire deposits and fiat currency conversions for FTX customers, participated in political contributions using Alameda funds, and led charitable initiatives in The Bahamas.

In filings, his attorneys argue that Salame’s role at the shuttered companies was less central to the fraud and more operational. They also cite cooperation with authorities, genuine remorse, efforts to address his substance abuse issues, and the significant personal and financial losses he has already suffered as a result of the exchange’s collapse.

“He had absolutely no knowledge that the four people at the center of Alameda and FTX had conspired to lie and to steal from their customers. Ryan stole from no one. He did not lie to customers,” his attorneys wrote in a filing. “He was duped…when he finally understood the FTX fraud, he was the first person to blow the whistle to authorities in The Bahamas."

In the document, his attorneys point out that information provided to Bahamanian authorities initiated their investigation into FTX, and he also provided documents to the U.S. Attorney’s Office without a grand jury subpoena.

Salame’s attorneys also write that the "incessant media criticism of FTX and all else within Bankman-Fried’s orbit has ensured [he] will be punished for the rest of his life" and argue that the legacy of FTX and his association with Bankman-Fried means that he'll never be able to seek another job without this association acting as a barrier.

Former Alameda-FTX executives Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang have pled guilty to charges and have sought plea deals from U.S. authorities to avoid jail time.

Edited by Parikshit Mishra.


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