Ex-FTX Executive Salame Gets 7.5-Year Prison Term In US

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Prosecutors accused Sam Bankman-Fried, Ryan Salame, and a third FTX executive of using customer funds to make donations to United States political candidates who support cryptocurrency-friendly laws.

United States federal prosecutors announced that Ryan Salame, the former Co-Chief Executive Officer of FTX’s Bahamian branch, and Sam Bankman-Fried would spend 90 months in jail.

Salame Admitted To Making Illegal Campaign Donations

Salame admitted in September to giving tens of millions of dollars in illegal campaign donations to support causes favored by his boss. Prosecutors had asked for five to seven years in prison, but he received a longer sentence of seven and a half years, which was announced on Tuesday.

Earlier this year, Bankman-Fried got a 25-year jail term for taking $8 billion from FTX customers. In November, a jury found him guilty of seven fraud and conspiracy charges linked to FTX’s collapse in 2022, which prosecutors say was one of the biggest financial scams in U.S. history. Bankman-Fried has appealed against the verdict and the punishment.

Prosecutors claim that the former FTX engineering chief Nishad Singh, Bankman-Fried, and Salame utilized FTX customer funds to contribute to political candidates who back cryptocurrency-friendly laws.

Salame’s lawyers have tried to separate him from the FTX fraud. They stated in a filing earlier in May before the sentencing that their client was tricked, like everyone else, into thinking that the firms were real, had money, and made a lot of profit.

United States Attorneys Seek To Enforce Salame’s Forfeiture Of Over $6 Million

Aside from the jail time, Salame, aged 30, got three years of supervised release and was told to give over $6 million in the forfeiture and more than $5 million in restitution, according to prosecutors’ statement.

Damian Williams, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, stated that Salame’s involvement in two serious federal crimes hurt public trust in American elections. It also undermined the honesty of the financial system.

According to Federal Election Commission data, Salame donated over $24 million to Republican candidates and causes in the 2022 election cycle, making him one of the top donors that year.

United States attorneys are officials of the U.S. Department of Justice. They are the top federal law enforcement officers in each of the 94 U.S. federal judicial districts. Each U.S. attorney is the primary federal criminal prosecutor in their district and represents the U.S. government in civil cases in federal and state courts.


Ali is a professional journalist with experience in Web3 journalism and marketing. Ali holds a Master's degree in Finance and enjoys writing about cryptocurrencies and fintech. Ali’s work has been published on a number of leading cryptocurrency publications including Capital.com, CryptoSlate, Securities.io, Invezz.com, Business2Community, BeinCrypto, and more.