25 February, 2024

Former FTX Executive Is Reportedly Negotiating Plea Deal With The DOJ

7 months ago

09 Nov, 2023

  • Former FTX executive Ryan Salame is reportedly negotiating a plea deal with federal prosecutors. 
  • Salame served as the Co-Chief Executive of FTX Digital Markets before its collapse last year. 
  • The Justice Department recently launched an investigation into allegations of campaign finance law violations against Salame. 

Former FTX executive Ryan Salame reportedly held talks with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) to negotiate a plea bargain. Salame, who served as the co-chief executive of FTX, was likely hoping to protect himself from criminal charges in the event that he pleads guilty in the case against the bankrupt crypto exchange. 

According to a report by Bloomberg, Salame was negotiating a plea deal with federal prosecutors ahead of entering a guilty plea as soon as next month. The Department of Justice is yet to formally file charges against the former FTX executive, but people familiar with the matter revealed that he may have to face charges related to FTX’s collapse and campaign finance law violations.

If Salame manages to secure a plea bargain, he would become the fourth FTX executive to plead guilty, after former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison, FTX co-founder Gary Wang, and FTX’s former Director of Engineering Nishad Singh. Ellison, Wang, and Singh would testify against FTX’s former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried as part of their plea deals, though it was unclear if Salame’s plea deal would include a similar arrangement. 

During his stint at the Bahamas-based FTX, Salame was the one who arguably led the company’s political donations. He personally donated as much as $26 million to the political campaigns of Republican candidates in the United States. This was in addition to the over $50 million that Sam Bankman-Fried donated to Democratic candidates. 

News of Salame’s plea deal negotiation with the Justice Department came just a month after federal prosecutors in New York launched a probe into allegations of campaign finance law violation against him. Earlier this year, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) raided the former FTX executive’s residence in Maryland. While the reason for the raid was unknown, Salame’s lawyer had reportedly handed over information related to his political campaign finance activity ahead of the raid.