Ryan Salame, who served as co-CEO of the Bahamas-based entity FTX Digital Markets, is negotiating with federal prosecutors on a deal to plead guilty to criminal charges.
According to a Tuesday report from Bloomberg, Salame could enter a guilty plea as early as next month to offenses that include campaign finance law violations. At the time of writing, it remained unclear whether Salame’s deal with prosecutors would involve testimony against former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried at his criminal trial which is set to commence in October.
Incidentally, Salame was the one who alerted regulators in the Bahamas to potential fraud at the crypto exchange before it collapsed last year. Days before FTX filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Salame disclosed in a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission of the Bahamas that FTX had made unlawful transfers of client assets to Alameda Research.
Earlier this year, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) raided Salame’s home in Maryland, suggesting investigators were looking closely into the executive’s involvement in the events leading up to FTX’s insolvency. The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Salame was the target of an investigation involving a potential violation of campaign finance laws regarding his alleged breach of campaign contribution limits.
The former FTX co-CEO was known to have made a significant amount of donations to Republican candidates, sending funds worth $23 million to a number of parties. Federal prosecutors claim that most of these donations were made with misappropriated FTX client assets.
A report from FTX’s liquidators also found that Salame received a total of $87 million from the exchange, making him the fourth largest recipient of loans and transfers made by the exchange to executives.