FTX Former Executive Ryan Salame Refuses To Testify Under Oath

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FTX Former Executive Ryan Salame Refuses To Testify Under Oath
  • Ryan Salame, FTX’s former co-chief executive, was declared unavailable to testify and, if subpoenaed, would invoke his right against self-incrimination.
  • Salame allegedly donated more than $24 million to Republican campaigns, violating federal campaign finance laws.
  • Prosecutors claimed that Sam Bankman-Fried made $100 million from political donations and intended to launder the proceeds of his fraud.

Ryan Salame, the former co-chief executive of FTX, was declared unavailable to testify, and if subpoenaed, Salame would invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Molly White, a crypto researcher and software engineer, shared on social media the latest news from the U.S. government’s motion in limine in the Sam Bankman-Fried criminal trial.

Bankman-Fried’s indictment didn’t name the people who prosecutors said were involved in political donations. However, the Federal Elections Commission data showed that these people are Nishad Singh and Ryan Salame. Singh, FTX’s former engineering chief, pleaded guilty to fraud and campaign finance violations in February 2023. Singh donated $9.7 million to Democratic candidates and confessed that he knew the money came from FTX customers.

Salame allegedly donated more than $24 million, violating federal campaign finance laws, to Republican campaigns, according to Bloomberg, and acted as a “straw donor” for Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF).

Federal prosecutors reportedly wanted to use, as evidence, messages Salame sent about an alleged agreement with Sam Bankman-Fried to donate on his behalf. Salame said that Bankman-Fried would likely “route money through me to weed out that Republican side.”  Those donations were for financial campaigns to gain political influence.

In November 2021, Salame outlined Bankman-Fried actions in a private message to a family member, “[SBF] wanted to donate to both Democratic and Republican candidates in the U.S.” Moreover, he added that bipartisan donations would “weed out anti crypto dems for pro-crypto dems and anti-crypto repubs for pro-crypto repubs.”

Prosecutors claimed that Bankman-Fried made $100 million in political donations before the 2022 U.S. midterm elections. They added that he intended to shape crypto regulation in the U.S. and launder the proceeds of his fraud. On August 9, Salame was negotiating with federal prosecutors to plead guilty to the criminal charges associated with the bankruptcy and alleged fraud of FTX. The other three former top executives have pleaded guilty and agreed to provide evidence for the government.

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