Smiley face
Weather     Live Markets

Sam Trabucco, the co-CEO of Alameda Research, has come to the defense of FTX executive Ryan Salame ahead of his sentencing on May 28. In a character reference for Salame, Trabucco described him as a complex person who should not be defined by his worst actions. Despite acknowledging Salame’s past crimes, Trabucco emphasized that he is prepared to accept the consequences and is his best friend. Trabucco expressed hope for a fair sentence for Salame, referring to him as a sought-after employee in the crypto space.

Salame recently submitted a sentencing memo in which he claims he was not aware of the illegal conduct at FTX and had struggled with substance abuse since the age of 15. He has since become sober, is raising a child with Michelle Bond, and has plans to attend law school. Salame also expressed a desire to start a political nonprofit. His defense team has requested a sentencing length of eighteen months in prison for him. Salame had previously pled guilty to conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting license and conspiracy to make unlawful political contributions back in September 2023.

Salame has distanced himself from the FTX exchange, with his lawyers arguing that he had limited knowledge of the company’s $8 billion fraud scheme. The court filing stated that Salame, like many others, suffered financial losses due to the scheme and was not part of the inner circle of Sam Bankman-Fried, who is currently serving 25 years in prison for orchestrating the fraud. Salame faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for the charges he pled guilty to.

The unlawful political contributions charge against Salame stemmed from secret donations made by Bankman-Fried, with the willing participation of Salame and the company’s Head of Engineering, Nishad Singh. Bankman-Fried used a straw donor scheme to make over 300 donations totaling tens of millions of dollars to influence pro-crypto politicians. Prosecutors allege that the donations were funded by FTX customers’ money that Bankman-Fried used for personal investments and real estate purchases while claiming investors’ funds were safe.

During Bankman-Fried’s trial, U.S. prosecutors described him as building a “pyramid of deceit on a foundation of lies and false promises” that left destruction in its wake when it collapsed. Salame’s sentencing is set to take place at Manhattan federal court on May 28. Despite the charges he faces and the crimes he has acknowledged, he has received support from Trabucco and others, who hope for a fair outcome for him. Salame’s future remains uncertain as he awaits his sentencing.

© 2024 Globe Echo. All Rights Reserved.