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Former FTX Exec Ryan Salame Gets 7.5 Years In Prison, Ordered To Pay $11 Million

Julia Smith
Last updated: | 2 min read
Ryan Salame, SBF, FTX executive

Former FTX executive and Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) associate Ryan Salame has been sentenced to 7.5 years in prison and a combined total of $11 million in forfeiture and restitution for criminal charges stemming from his time at SBF’s crypto exchange following a Tuesday morning hearing.

Salame had originally requested an 18-month prison sentence, while U.S. prosecutors pushed for the former head of FTX’s Bahamian subsidiary, FTX Digital Markets, to get five to seven years.

Former FTX Executive Ryan Salame Sentenced To 7.5 Years In Prison

In October 2023, Salame pleaded guilty to operating an illegal money-transmitting business and making unlawful political contributions related to the crypto exchange. However, he refused to cooperate with federal prosecutors, potentially resulting in a longer-than-recommended sentence for his crimes.

“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,” said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams. “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.”

Friends Of SBF Await Their Fate For FTX Fraud Scheme

Salame’s sentence was imposed by Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, who recently ordered SBF himself to pay an $11 billion penalty and serve 25 years in prison for orchestrating the crypto scheme in March.

Bankman-Fried is currently being transferred from the Metropolitan Detention Center to a prison in his home state of California. He is appealing the verdict in his case following a monthlong October 2023 trial in which some of his closest friends and FTX executives testified against him.

Salame, who is the first FTX executive outside of Bankman-Fried to be sentenced for his crimes, has repeatedly denied knowledge of FTX stealing customer funds.

“As was true for thousands of other FTX employees, customers, investors, and lenders, Ryan lost years of hard work and nearly his entire net worth almost instantaneously,” Salame’s lawyers stated in a recent court filing. “Ryan, who was not part of Sam Bankman-Fried’s innermost circle, was unaware of the crimes at the center of this case.”

In addition to Salame, FTX’s former Head of Engineering Nishad Singh, Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison, and FTX co-founder Gary Wang are all expected to be sentenced sometime in the upcoming calendar year.

Salame has been ordered to complete three years of supervised release after his time in prison.