Government asks for 5-7 years for former FTX exec Ryan Salame 

Prosecutors said Ryan Salame’s “serious crimes” and “minor” cooperation mean a serious sentence is in order


CryptoFX/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks


Prosecutors have asked the court to sentence former FTX executive Ryan Salame to five to seven years in prison. 

In the government’s 30-page sentencing memorandum filed Tuesday evening, prosecutors said Salame’s “serious crimes” require “a substantial sentence.” 

Salame in September pleaded guilty to two counts for campaign finance violations and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business. By acting as a “straw donor,” the government says, Salame helped “pump more than $100 million dollars in illegal contributions through the US political system to help support Bankman-Fried and FTX’s legislative priorities.” 

Read more: Former FTX exec Ryan Salame pleads guilty weeks before Bankman-Fried’s trial

“The campaign finance offense is one of the largest-ever in American history, and the unlicensed money transmitting business exchanged more than $1 billion without proper supervision,” prosecutors added. 

Salame’s cooperation with the government in FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s criminal trial was “relatively minor,” prosecutors noted, and he never entered into a formal cooperation agreement. 

“The defendant did not himself meet with the Government,” prosecutors wrote in the memo. “Rather, Salame provided documents, such as text messages and emails, in response to Government document requests, and authorized his attorneys to make multiple factual proffers to the Government.” 

Read more: Not just Democrats: FTX exec gave tens of millions to GOP causes

Salame did hand over some last-minute information to government attorneys in the days before Bankman-Fried’s trial, the memo added, which were helpful during cross-examination of some witnesses. But, “none of the information resulted in any significant investigative leads, arrests, or charges,” the government told the court. 

Salame is scheduled to be sentenced in Manhattan on May 28. 

Last week, the defense asked the court to sentence Salame to 18 months in prison, claiming the former executive had been “duped” by Bankman-Fried and was “the first person to blow the whistle to authorities in the Bahamas” when he uncovered the nature of the fraud. 

Salame has been working to pursue a law degree, his attorneys added, stating that he has already taken the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) in the hopes he can eventually “help less fortunate individuals.” 

Former executives Caroline Ellison, Nishad Singh and Gary Wang, who all testified against Bankman-Fried last fall and entered into formal cooperation agreements with the government, have not yet been sentenced. Singh’s sentencing hearing has been scheduled for November while Ellison and Wang’s dates are not yet on the calendar. 

Bankman-Fried in March was sentenced to 25 years in prison for seven counts of fraud and conspiracy.

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