Ryan Salame, former executive at FTX, has entered a guilty plea related to the exchange's downfall. This marks the fourth individual associated with FTX's founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, to admit criminal wrongdoing in connection with the exchange's collapse.
Salame's admission came during a hearing in a federal court in New York. He pleaded guilty to conspiring to make illegal political contributions and conspiring to operate an unlicensed money transmission business. This development intensifies the legal pressure on Sam Bankman-Fried, who is gearing up to defend himself against fraud charges. The trial will start on October 3rd.
According to federal prosecutors, Salame collaborated with Bankman-Fried to funnel tens of millions of dollars in illicit contributions to political candidates and committees during the 2022 election cycle.
These contributions were funded through loans that Salame received from Alameda Research, a crypto-investment firm associated with Bankman-Fried. Salame acknowledged during the plea hearing that he knew these donations were illegal because the loans would eventually be forgiven, and he had no intention of repaying them.
Salame's plea agreement does not require him to cooperate with the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's Office, which is handling the FTX criminal cases. Under the terms of the deal, he faces a potential prison sentence of up to 10 years and must forfeit $1.5 billion. Salame will also pay $6 million, surrender real estate, and a Porsche to fulfill the order, along with $5.6 million in restitution. According to schedule schedule, the sentence will be on March 6th.