Sep 8, 2023

Former co-CEO of FTX Digital Markets Ryan Salame pleaded guilty to a number of federal criminal charges tied to the exchange.

Video transcript

Some exciting new legal developments for former FTX executive Ryan Sala after Mrs Salam Salam, as I would say in Arabic, uh anyway, after pleading guilty on Thursday for, for two federal criminal charges tied to the exchange. Joining us. Now to discuss coin is Coindesk global policy and regulation. Managing editor Nick Day, who's also the editor of the I, I'm gonna say this as a, as a fellow newsletter, editor, the best newsletter in the planet, coined the state of crypto newsletter. Good morning, Nick. Good morning. Happy Friday. So Ryan Salam Salem, it sounds like, I don't know, it's like you want to say Salami uh it's, it's, it's might be, you know, the defendant that definitely um what did he plead guilty to? Yeah. So yesterday he showed up in court pled guilty to conspiracy to defraud the Federal election Commission and conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitter. I, you know, two charges that originally appeared on his former boss Sam, be Mri's uh you know, own indictment. Uh The federal election commission charge has since been dropped but prosecutors say they're folding that into uh you know, his other charges wira specifically, he also has to, there's a $1.5 billion that he's forfeiting is that money from having the uh trademark to the name Salami? So what's really interesting is that was the detail that was read out in court by the judge. And uh obviously, you know, that became everyone's headline, but it looks like he's actually off the hook if he pays 6 million by the time he's sentenced turns over two houses ownership and equity interest in the East Rood Farm Corporation, which is a food business that he owns. Uh, and a, uh, Porsche 9 11 from 2021. So he could, prosecutors could go after him for the full 1.5 billion. If it turns out he lied on an affidavit or if he lied about anything else or otherwise interferes in their efforts to, you know, sell the property. But otherwise he seems to be off the hook with just a 6 million. How many miles on that, that Porsche do we know that was not read out in court? But that's, yeah, just asking for a friend they valued at about 200,000. It looks like really? Still. He's not that guy who goes out on the FDR drive, like blaring like house and, and hip hop and then like has like, he doesn't have like those, I don't know, the, the, the neon under the under on, on the undercarriage, I guess there's thousands, the sale, the original sale value, then that might just have been the original value that they're looking at. But yeah, either way it looks like he is, uh, you know, he only has to meet a certain set of requirements. Uh And he's off the hook for the full 1.5 billion. If he violates those requirements, then yes, he has to find the 1.5 billion prosecutors did say in a document circulated after the hearing that the 1.5 billion was uh you know, specifically funds tied to the second charge. Ie the conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitter implying that that is all, you know, those are FTX funds. I'm still waiting to, you know, hear word on A I guess a does he have access to $1.5 billion worth of FTX funds? Uh and be if not, does anyone or you know, where that figure come from? Basically. All right, Nick Salem played a key role in the exchange of political fundraising operations. We know that Sam Bank Fried is facing charges related to campaign finance. What does this guilty plea mean for those charges? If anything? I think the I think the big question everyone had is, you know, will Salem now testify against Bank Fried as a result of the guilty plea so far, it does not appear that that's the case. But at the very least, the fact that he's pleaded guilty means that, you know, the prosecutors have enough written evidence that they can make that case. And I imagine that is something we will definitely see, uh pop up at trial. Be interesting to see if he gives up the, the, the Porsche brother. I, I know somebody who, who ended up getting divorced because her husband. Yeah. No, like, like literally, like she goes, hey, you should sell the Porsche. We, and he goes, no, she goes, I'm getting divorced. That's it. And they got divorced because he wouldn't sell the Porsche. Like people are nuts about their Porsche. I feel like there are some other issues there, there's some underlying, it's like dudes identity is like wrapped up in this like car. You know, it's like, you know, the game doesn't work. So let me go get a Porsche. It's good to say it's like this whole, it's this whole thing. It's this whole mentality. All right, Nick, I, we will let you go and leave this conversation. Have a great weekend. Nick. Thanks for joining us. I'll head over to the car dealership to take a look at those right now. Yeah, you're fine. You have a full head of hair man that was Coindesk global policy and regulation. Managing editor Nick Day and don't forget to sign up for the state of crypto newsletter on Coindesk dot com.

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