Sep 7, 2023 - Economy & Business

FTX exec Ryan Salame pleads guilty to two counts

Man in suit with blue tie speaks at press conference.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams in January. Photo: Lev Radin/Getty

Ryan Salame, the former head of FTX Digital Markets, agreed to plead guilty to two criminal counts related to the charges being faced by Sam Bankman-Fried, who founded the now-bankrupt cryptocurrency platform.

Why it matters: There have been question marks around Salame, as well as a few other members of the inner circle who've not yet faced justice. With Salame's plea deal, the public should get somewhat more clarity about what really happened inside the collapsed crypto exchange.

Catch up fast: Salame served as co-CEO of the subsidiary in in the Bahamas, FTX DM.

  • Since the bankruptcy, it has become evident that he also served as the go between for FTX and Republican leaders and candidates, as one of the few political conservatives in the company's executive team.

Details: Salame was charged with conspiracy to make unlawful political contributions and conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitter.

  • The indictment charges Salame with participating in opening the "North Dimension" trading account at an unnamed California bank, so that FTX customers could deposit dollars there with which to trade.

What they're saying: US Attorney Damian Williams said Salame, "helped FTX grow faster and larger by operating outside of the law."

What we're watching: Salame has been released on bond, CNBC reports. His sentencing is scheduled for March 6.

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