Ryan Salame Faces Sentencing in FTX Fraud Case: Defense Pleads for Leniency

After FTX founder Sam Bankman Fried was imprisoned, it is now the turn of the former executive to face his sentencing. Ryan Salame, the former CEO of FTX Digital Markets, a now-defunct FTX Ltd subsidiary, is facing a potential 18-month prison term for operating fraud through FTX in the Bahamas. 

However, his legal team has pleaded for leniency, contending he was not involved in the major fraud case. 

Allegations Against Salame’s Post at FTX 

The once key figure of FTX and its sister company, Alameda Research, Ryan Salame, is accused of being engaged in managing wire deposits and converting fiat currencies for customers in the FTX fraud case. 

Behind his official capacity at the FTX Digital Markets, Salame actively directed political contributions using Alameda’s funds and spearheaded charitable efforts in the Bahamas.

Defence Pleads for Leniency: Main Points

Salame’s legal team has outlined several arguments in support of a plea to the Court to reduce his sentence. 

The defense’s main argument primarily focused on Ryan Salame’s limited role in the central fraud that toppled FTX. “He had no knowledge that the four people at the center of Alameda and FTX had conspired to lie and to steal from their customers,” his attorneys stated. They also assert that Salame was “duped.” When he realized the extent of the fraud, he initiated the investigation by blowing the whistle and contacting the authorities in the Bahamas. 

“Ryan stole from no one. He did not lie to customers,” his attorneys conveyed in the sentencing memorandum, trying to appeal that Salame was committed to rectifying the situation. The memorandum also stated that during the early stages of the investigation, Salame cooperated with the authorities and provided crucial documents to the U.S. Attorney’s Office without a subpoena.

It has also been mentioned how the collapse of FTX devastated Salame’s personal and financial life, nearly wiping out his net worth. The legal team highlighted the defense’s ongoing struggles with substance abuse because of these challenges. 

The “incessant media criticism” should also be noted, as Salame would endure a lifelong repercussion beyond any court-imposed sentence, severely impacting his future employment prospects.

Ryan Salame’s legal team has pleaded for a lenient 18-month sentence. Meanwhile, other former executives of Alameda-FTX, such as Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang, have also pleaded guilty and negotiated plea deals, seeking to avoid jail time. 

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