Former FTX Digital Markets co-CEO Ryan Salame is being investigated for the role he played in Sam Bankman-Fried’s empire. He is currently under scrutiny for the $24 million in political contributions he made during the 2022 midterm elections.
The fallout from FTX’s collapse continues.
According to the New York Times, the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided the $4 million Washington D.C. home of former FTX executive Ryan Salame on Thursday morning.
Salame joined FTX sister company Alameda Research as head of OTC trading in November 2019. He then became co-CEO of FTX Digital Markets—FTX’s Bahamian business entity—shortly after the company moved from Hong Kong to the Bahamas, in 2021. The FTX bankruptcy team has claimed that, as one of Sam Bankman-Fried’s most trusted advisors, Salame pocketed at least $87 million in bonuses and loans from Alameda.
Salame is under scrutiny for donating over $24 million in campaign contributions to U.S. politicians during the 2022 midterm elections. The Justice Department alleges that FTX executives (most notably Salame, FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried, and former FTX head of engineering Nishad Singh) made over $90 million in donations with funds originally belonging to FTX customers. While Bankman-Fried publicly donated $46.5 million in the last two years to political entities associated with the Democratic Party, Salame made contributions to Republican candidates on Bankman-Fried’s behalf.
Prosecutors have yet to file any charges against Salame. Bankman-Fried himself has been handed thirteen criminal charges, including fraud, conspiracy, violation of campaign finance laws, and violation of anti-bribery provisions. He is currently pleading not guilty to all counts. Other members of Bankman-Fried’s inner circle—including Singh, FTX co-founder Gary Wang, and former Alameda Research Caroline Ellison—have pleaded guilty to various fraud and money laundering charges, and are reportedly cooperating with U.S. authorities.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC, ETH, and several other crypto assets.
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