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Former FTX Exec Ryan Salame Set to Plead Guilty: Report

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The former co-CEO of FTX Digital Markets Ryan Salame is expected to plead guilty to criminal charges.

(Nellie Adamyan/Unsplash)

Posted September 7, 2023 at 12:27 pm EST.

Former crypto exchange FTX executive Ryan Salame intends to plead guilty to criminal charges, following in the footsteps of other executives linked to the exchange including co-founders Gary Wang and Nishad Singh as well as Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison, according to a report from Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter.

Salame, who was the co-CEO of FTX Digital Markets, is expected to appear in a federal court in Manhattan, New York, on Thursday afternoon after “lengthy negotiations” with prosecutors, Bloomberg reported. It was previously reported that Salame was discussing a plea deal with prosecutors.

The Department of Justice arrested FTX co-founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried in December last year. He faces twelve charges including wire fraud, securities fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty to all charges and his first trial is set for Oct. 2.

Facing an $8 billion shortfall in customer funds, FTX filed for bankruptcy in November last year.  John J. Ray III, who is now FTX’s CEO and overseeing bankruptcy proceedings, said he had never in his career “seen such a complete failure of corporate controls.”

Wang, Singh and Ellison are expected to be witnesses in the criminal case against Bankman-Fried and have been cooperating with prosecutors. The prosecution said in a  court filing last month that Salame would be unavailable as a witness because he intends to invoke his Fifth Amendment right if subpoenaed.

Salame made over $23 million worth of donations to Republican campaigns and was being probed in July over campaign finance violations, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. The New York Times reported that Salame’s house was raided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in April, citing two sources familiar with the matter. 

The prosecution dropped a campaign finance charge against Bankman-Fried in August.

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