Many Exchanges Are "Secretly Insolvent," According To Ftx Chief

Former FTX Executive Pleads Guilty to Charges

  • Ryan Salame held significant positions at FTX and was responsible for the exchange’s political donations.
  • Salame joins former FTX executives Caroline Ellison, Gary Wang, and Nishad Singh to plead guilty to criminal charges.
  • Bankman-Fried’s trial is set to resume in October.

Ryan Salame, who served as one of Sam Bankman-Fried’s senior assistants at FTX, entered a guilty plea to criminal charges on Thursday. Salame played several roles at FTX, including serving as co-CEO of the company’s Digital Markets arm. In addition, Salame was also charged with handling FTX’s political donations, which regulators claim were in violation of campaign finance laws.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement on Thursday:

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 guilty plea comes less than a month before Bankman-Fried’s widely anticipated trial is expected to begin. Interestingly, other former FTX executives Caroline Ellison, Gary Wang, and Nishad Singh have pleaded guilty to criminal charges, giving Bankman-Fried a tough job to prove his innocence.

According to reports, these former executives are likely to testify against Bankman-Fried, whom authorities accuse of devising one of the biggest scams in modern US history. However, Salame would not testify because, according to the prosecution, he sought to invoke his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination.

FTX imploded last November, and many believe the company’s leadership played a significant role in the situation. Salame, for example, is said to have helped cover Bankman-Fried’s illegal financial activities and also helped build FTX into a global exchange. At its peak, FTX gained the endorsement of significant Hollywood stars. But the exchange’s decline wiped off more than $8 billion in deposits.

As a result, Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas and extradited to the US in December. The 31-year-old is facing seven criminal counts, including securities and wire fraud. He is also charged with using billions in customer funds to support extravagant real estate acquisitions and political contributions. Interestingly, the former crypto billionaire entered a not-guilty plea. 

Lawrence Woriji Verified

Lawrence has covered some exciting stories in his career as a journalist, he finds blockchain-related stories very intriguing. He believes Web3 will change the world and wants everyone to be a part of it.

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