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Press Release

Former FTX Executive Ryan Salame Sentenced To 90 Months In Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that RYAN SALAME was sentenced today to 90 months in prison.  SALAME previously pled guilty to conspiracy to make unlawful political contributions and defraud the Federal Election Commission and conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business before U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, who imposed today’s sentence. 

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

According to the filings and statements made during court proceedings:

RYAN SALAME was a high-ranking official at Alameda Research, the quantitative cryptocurrency trading firm founded by Samuel Bankman-Fried, from 2019 to 2021.  In or about October 2021, SALAME was named co-CEO of FTX’s Bahamian affiliate FTX Digital Markets Ltd.

While working at Alameda Research and FTX, SALAME conspired with Bankman-Fried and other employees of FTX and Alameda Research to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business, unlawfully using FTX, Alameda Research, and an entity called “North Dimension” to transmit FTX customer funds without a license.  The conspirators and others at Alameda Research and FTX also made false statements to U.S. banks in order to maintain their unlawful businesses.

Additionally, beginning in or around 2020, SALAME conspired with Bankman-Fried and FTX executive Nishad Singh to donate campaign contributions in a manner that obscured Bankman-Fried’s association with certain of the contributions.  These donations were made to improve Bankman-Fried’s personal standing in Washington, D.C., increase FTX’s profile, and curry favor with candidates that could help pass legislation favorable to FTX, Alameda, or Bankman-Fried’s personal agenda.  In total, SALAME and his co-conspirators made over 300 political contributions, totaling tens of millions of dollars, that were unlawful because they were made in the name of a straw donor or paid for with corporate funds and caused false information to be reported by campaigns and political action committees to the Federal Election Commission.

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In addition to the prison term, SALAME, 30, of Potomac, Maryland, was sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay more than $6 million in forfeiture and more than $5 million in restitution.

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

This case is being handled by the Office’s Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force, with assistance from the Office’s Illicit Finance and Money Laundering and Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Units.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Danielle Kudla, Samuel Raymond, Thane Rehn, Nicolas Roos, and Danielle Sassoon are in charge of the prosecution.


Nicholas Biase, Lauren Scarff, Shelby Wratchford
(212) 637-2600

Updated May 28, 2024

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 24-184