FTX co-CEO, SBF’s associate sentenced to 90 months in prison

Former FTX executive Ryan Salame has been sentenced to 90 months in prison after pleading guilty to criminal charges last September.

The sentencing was handed down on Tuesday by Judge Lewis Kaplan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. In addition to the prison term, Salame was given three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $6 million in forfeiture and more than $5 million in restitution, according to the U.S. Justice Department.

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. His attorneys argue that his involvement was primarily operational rather than central to the fraud perpetrated by the key figures at FTX and Alameda.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams commented on the case: “Ryan Salame agreed to advance the interests of FTX, Alameda Research, and his co-conspirators through an unlawful political influence campaign and through an unlicensed money transmitting business, which helped FTX grow faster and larger by operating outside of the law. Salame’s involvement in two serious federal crimes undermined public trust in American elections and the integrity of the financial system. Today’s sentence underscores the substantial consequences for such offenses.”

Salame pleaded guilty in September to charges of conspiring to make unlawful political contributions and operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business. He was previously the co-CEO of FTX’s Bahamian subsidiary and worked closely with former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried.

Salame’s legal team hoped for a lighter sentence of no more than 18 months, arguing that he lost much of his personal fortune when FTX collapsed in 2022. Prosecutors, however, argued for a sentence of five to seven years, stating that Salame committed serious crimes to promote the growth of FTX and Bankman-Fried’s image.

Former Alameda-FTX executives, including CEO Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang, have also pleaded guilty to charges and are negotiating plea deals to avoid jail time. However, Salame did not testify during Bankman-Fried’s criminal trial last year.