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US Prosecutors Push for 5-7 Year Prison Sentence for Ex-FTX Exec

Summary:
Federal prosecutors are calling for a prison sentence of five to seven years for former FTX executive Ryan Salame, who has been implicated in its multibillion-dollar collapse. His defense team asserts that his punishment should reflect his role in exposing the fraud, pushing for a lighter sentence of no more than 18 months. Salame’s Defense According to a sentencing memo filed in federal court in Manhattan on Tuesday seen by Bloomberg, prosecutors emphasized the seriousness of Salame’s offenses. The memo stated, “The campaign finance offense is one of the largest-ever in American history, and the unlicensed money transmitting business exchanged more than billion without proper supervision.” In his defense, Salame’s attorneys have highlighted his cooperation with

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Federal prosecutors are calling for a prison sentence of five to seven years for former FTX executive Ryan Salame, who has been implicated in its multibillion-dollar collapse.

His defense team asserts that his punishment should reflect his role in exposing the fraud, pushing for a lighter sentence of no more than 18 months.

Salame’s Defense

According to a sentencing memo filed in federal court in Manhattan on Tuesday seen by Bloomberg, prosecutors emphasized the seriousness of Salame’s offenses. The memo stated, “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.”

In his defense, Salame’s attorneys have highlighted his cooperation with authorities and his efforts to expose potential fraud. They argue that Salame was the first FTX insider to alert Bahamian regulators to the upcoming crisis in late 2022.

Since pleading guilty in September, Salame has reportedly embarked on a new path, raising his first child with long-time partner Michelle Bond and seeking treatment for substance abuse.

“He has been a good man who has done much good in this world, who conspired to commit two crimes while in the thrall of a criminal leader who had beguiled captains of industry and politics far savvier than Ryan,” Salame’s attorneys wrote in the filing.

Salame Faces Sentencing on May 28

Salame’s plea deal includes forfeiting $6 million worth of assets, including a Massachusetts restaurant near his hometown. His sentencing memo also features 28 letters from friends and family, including former Alameda Research co-CEO Sam Trabucco.

Salame is scheduled to be sentenced on May 28. He will be the first member of FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s inner circle to face justice for his role in the crypto exchange’s downfall while others await sentencing. Bankman-Fried himself received a 25-year prison sentence in March, an outcome he is currently appealing.

Salame’s legal journey began in 2019 when he joined Alameda Research, FTX’s sister hedge fund, after meeting Bankman-Fried at a blockchain conference. By 2021, Salame had moved to the Bahamas and taken on the role of CEO at FTX’s Bahamian subsidiary.

During his tenure, Salame facilitated the acceptance of customer deposits through a U.S. bank account despite lacking the necessary licenses. He also served as a straw donor for Bankman-Fried, channeling millions in political donations to candidates perceived as crypto-friendly ahead of the 2022 election.

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