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FTX Collapse: Ryan Salame Blames Sam Bankman-Fried

Ryan Salame FTX

Ryan Salame’s lawyers stress that he was not a part of the main scam that Sam Bankman-Fried was doing and that the collapse of FTX nearly wiped out his entire net wealth.

A Tuesday sentencing brief from Ryan Salame’s attorneys states that the former FTX executive, who entered a guilty plea to election fraud charges in September, is requesting mercy in the form of an 18-month term.

Ryan Salame oversaw wire deposits and fiat currency exchanges for FTX clients, used Alameda monies to make political contributions, and oversaw charitable endeavors in the Bahamas while working for FTX and Alameda.

Related: Sam Bankman-Fried Blames Others, Insists He’s Not a Criminal

His lawyers contend in documents that Salame played a more operational and less central role in the fraud at the closed companies. They also point to his collaboration with law enforcement, sincere regret, attempts to deal with his drug misuse problems, and the substantial financial and personal losses he has already experienced as a result of the exchange’s demise.

According to his lawyers, he was completely ignorant of the conspiracy between FTX and the four individuals in the Alameda facility to deceive and take money from their clients. ‘Nobody did Ryan Salame steal.’ “He did not lie to customers,” his lawyers stated in a document. “He was duped. He was the first person to report the FTX fraud to Bahamas authorities when he finally understood it.”

His attorneys note in the paper that he gave records to the U.S. Attorney’s Office without a grand jury subpoena and that material he gave to Bahamanian officials started their investigation into FTX.

Ryan Salame’s lawyers further contend that his association with Bankman-Fried and the legacy of FTX mean he will never be able to look for another job without this association acting as a barrier, and that the “incessant media criticism of FTX and all else within Bankman-Fried’s orbit has ensured [he] will be punished for the rest of his life.”

Former Alameda-FTX executives Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang entered guilty pleas and are negotiating plea agreements with US authorities to avoid jail time.

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