FTX Executive Ryan Salame Sentenced to 7.5 Years in Prison and Fined $11 Million

By Jody McDonald May 29, 2024 In Crime, FTX, Law
Syktyvkar, Komi , Russia, December 21, 2022,FTX is cryptocurrency exchange. The concept of trial.

  • Former co-CEO of FTX Digital Markets, Ryan Salame, was sentenced to 7.5 years in prison with three years of supervised release and fines of over US$11 million
  • Salame had pleaded guilty to charges of unlawful political contributions and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business.

Shady political manoeuvres on behalf of his disgraced boss—Sam Bankman-Fried—have landed ex-FTX executive Ryan Salame 7.5 years of prison time and fines of more than US$11 million (AU$16.5m), US federal prosecutors announced this week

Salame pleaded guilty in September 2023 to conspiracy to make unlawful political contributions and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business, after the FBI raided his home in Maryland in April 2023.

This latest fallout from the FTX exchange’s collapse in 2022 follows the high-profile sentencing of SBF to a 25-year jail term in March 2024 on various fraud charges. Salame is the first of four FTX execs beyond SBF to face the music: Nishad Singh, Gary Wang and Caroline Ellison have also pleaded guilty to financial crimes.

Related: FTX to Offer 118% Cash Back in Reimbursement Plan for Victims, Exceeding Initial Losses


Salame joined FTX Digital Markets, a Bahamas-based affiliate of the exchange, as co-CEO in 2021. He blew the whistle on unlawful funds transfers between FTX and Alameda Research, and was the first executive from FTX to assist authorities with their investigation.

Salame Conspired To Gain Political Influence

US Attorney Damian Williams said Salame conspired with SBF and FTX exec Nishad Singh in 2020 to “curry favour” with politicians that could help pass pro-crypto legislation through over 300 campaign contributions worth tens of millions. 

The donations were unlawful because they obscured SBF’s involvement or were paid for with corporate funds, effectively defrauding the Federal Electoral Commission.

Salame’s involvement in two serious federal crimes undermined public trust in American elections and the integrity of the financial system.  Today’s sentence underscores the substantial consequences for such offenses.

US Attorney Damian Williams

In addition to the 7.5 year jail term, Salame was sentenced to three years of supervised release and fines of US$11 million: US$6 million in forfeiture and more than US$5 million in restitution.

Salame took to social media site X for the first time since 2022 with a series of bizarre tweets and often sarcastic replies to other users. He was widely roasted for his embarrassing exchange with X user Hersch (@tittyrespecter) in which he argues about the reason for his sentence, after seemingly expressing no knowledge of how FTX customer’s money “was somehow missing.”

Jody McDonald

Jody McDonald

Jody is a Brisbane-based freelance writer who specialises in writing about business, technology, and the future of work.

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