Co-director of FTX Digital Markets, Ryan Salame could become the FTX’s fourth executive to negotiate a agreement with the justice American justice. He would plead guiltyincluding illegal political financing.
Gary Wang, Caroline Ellison and Nishad Singh, all ex-executives of crypto exchange FTX have agreed to plead guilty. They may soon be joined by Ryan Salameformerly co-CEO of FTX Digital Markets.
According to sources quoted by Bloombergthe former boss would be in negotiation with federal prosecutors. In this context, he would plead guilty of several charges, including illegal financing of a political campaign.
Straw men to hide political donations
It is not yet known whether the negotiations will result in a cooperation agreement with public prosecutors and Ryan Salame may be called to testify against FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried.
Salame was an important cog in SBF’s political donation scheme, which is also being prosecuted for illegal political financing. Salame, who headed FTX’s Bahamas-based subsidiary, was himself heavily involved in political financing.
Described as a prolific donor, he made donated $24 million to Republican candidates during his tenure at the offshore crypto exchange. Salame made a political donation to Michelle Bond, his partnerin the New York primary.
Bond, recall Bloombergwas no stranger to the crypto ecosystem. She headed the Association for Digital Asset Markets, an industry advocacy organization. Michelle Bond benefited from donations from other FTX executives, including that of the former head of regulation Daniel Friedberg.
An illegal campaign financing system
For U.S. prosecutors, there is no doubt that Bankman-Fried used executives from his company as straw donors to fund politicians on both sides and influence crypto regulation.
While the DoJ intended to drop a political financing charge, it has since clarified that the “illegal campaign finance scheme” would still be part of the charge against Bankman-Fried at his trial scheduled for March 2024
The new indictmentwhich will be filed next week, will specify that campaign donations are linked to the money laundering and fraud charges in this case. Will Salame support these charges?
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