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Former Alameda Research CEO Sam Trabucco Defends FTX Exec Ryan Salame Ahead Of Sentencing

Julia Smith
Last updated: | 2 min read
A depiction of Manhattan federal court symbolizing Sam Trabucco's character reference for former FTX executive Ryan Salame.

Sam Trabucco, the co-CEO of Alameda Research, has spoken out in support of FTX executive Ryan Salame ahead of his sentencing on May 28, according to an updated May 14 court filing.

In a character reference for the former FTX Digital Markets co-CEO, Trabucco described Salame as an “affable” and “complex” person who “doesn’t deserve to be defined by his worst actions.”

Alameda Research’s Sam Trabucco Defends FTX Exec Ryan Salame


“Simply put, Ryan is my best friend. He has also committed crimes,” Trabucco wrote. “He’s acknowledged that and is prepared to accept the consequences.”

Trabucco further said that he had hoped Salame would receive a “fair” sentence in relation to the digital asset scandal, referring to him as a “sought-after employee in the crypto space.”

Salame, who recently requested a sentencing length of eighteen months in prison, pled guilty to conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting license and conspiracy to make unlawful political contributions back in September 2023.

Salame has largely distanced himself from the doomed crypto exchange, with lawyers for the FTX executive arguing that he had limited knowledge of the company’s $8 billion fraud scheme.

“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,” the court filing read. “Ryan, who was not part of Sam Bankman-Fried’s innermost circle, was unaware of the crimes at the center of this case.”

Salame In Hot Water Over SBF Political Donations, Faces Prison Time


Salame’s unlawful political contributions charge stems from over 300 secret donations totaling tens of millions of dollars made by Bankman-Fried, with the willing participation of the former FTX Digital Markets co-CEO and the company’s Head of Engineering, Nishad Singh.

Prosecutors allege Bankman-Fried, who is currently serving 25 years in prison for orchestrating the fraud scheme, used the straw donor scheme to levy influence and power to pro-crypto politicians.

Of course, these donations were largely funded by FTX customers’ money, which Bankman-Fried stole and used to fund venture investments, real estate purchases, and more while claiming investors’ funds were safe.

“He built a pyramid of deceit on a foundation of lies and false promises,” U.S. prosecutors claimed during SBF’s trial. “And when it collapsed, it left a trail of destruction in its wake.”

Salame’s sentencing will take place at Manhattan federal court on May 28 at 11 a.m. He is facing a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.