Ex-FTX Co-Chief Executive Ryan Salame to Plead Guilty in Court – Will SBF Follow Suit?

Source: AdobeStock / Rafael Henrique

Former co-CEO of FTX Digital Market Ryan Dalame plans a guilty plea over criminal charges associated with the collapse of FTX in November. 

According to a Bloomberg report citing people familiar with the matter,  Dalame is expected to go forward with the plea on Sept 7  at a Manhattan Federal Court after lengthy negotiations with prosecutors.

While at FTX Digital Market, he handled the exchange’s political donations, particularly to the Republican Party amongst others. 

The potential plea deal could entail an admission to breach of campaign finance laws after allegations of donating $24 million of user assets to fund United States Congress Campaigns among other related criminal charges. 

In July, the Wall Street Journal reported that prosecutors were looking into Ryan Dalame’s contribution to his girlfriend’s congressional campaign.

The potential guilty plea comes weeks before the company’s ex-CEO Sam Bankman-Fried begins trial for criminal charges linked to the collapse of the exchange in November 2022.

Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty to 12 criminal charges with trial set to commence on Oct 2 2023 and March 11, 2024. 

At press time, it has not been disclosed if parts of the plea deal with the prosecutors include a testimony against Bankman-Fried but such a plea is already said to place him in a bad light with aggrieved investors and the public who lost assets last year.

The investigation into the collapse of the exchange has led to guilty pleas from top executives including Nishad Singh, Gary Wang, and Caroline Ellison. 

What’s next for SBF?

Although Bankman-Fried maintains his innocence, many observers wonder if the status quo may change following a guilty plea by several senior executives.

Last year, crypto exchange FTX filed for bankruptcy, setting the tone for one of the biggest digital asset meltdowns. 

Investigations reveal that SBF allegedly moved up to $10 billion in customer assets to sister company Alameda Research leading to initial charges filed against him. 

two counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering… . … conspiracy to commit commodities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud and conspiracy to defraud the United States and commit campaign finance violations.” 

On Sept 6, it was reported that SBF lawyers claim their client will not have sufficient opportunity to prepare his defense amid the present conditions while the prosecution differs, filing that he has “access to the internet-enabled laptop at least two days per week and the download transfer rate was recorded at 34 Mbps”

Though it looks like SBF isn’t moving towards a guilty plea at the moment, the prosecution is confident on proving all charges against the former “loved crypto executive.” 

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