US prosecutors push for 5–7 years in prison for ex-FTX exec

U.S. prosecutors demanded “just punishment” fitting the scale of his crime, but Salame’s lawyers argue that he should serve no more than 18 months.

United States prosecutors want former FTX executive Ryan Salame — the alleged wingman of FTX co-founder Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried — to serve five to seven years in prison for crimes that led to the eventual collapse of the FTX crypto exchange.

On May 21, federal prosecutors filed a sentencing memo in a Manhattan federal court demanding strict sentencing for Salame after the defendant pleaded guilty to committing “serious crimes” linked to misappropriating FXT investors’ funds.

In the court filing viewed by Bloomberg, the U.S. prosecutors demanded “just punishment” fitting the scale of his crime as opposed to Salame’s lawyers, who argue that he should serve no more than 18 months.

The prosecutors said:

“The campaign finance offense is one of the largest-ever in American history, and the unlicensed money transmitting business exchanged more than $1 billion without proper supervision.”
Salame’s court sentencing for helping SBF siphon $10 billion of users’ funds is currently set for May 28. The prosecutors added: “Only a meaningful period of incarceration could adequately deter the defendant and others and promote respect for the law.”

On April 1, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York sentenced SBF to 25 years in prison following his conviction on seven felony charges. Salame will be SBF’s first accomplice to get sentenced.

Salame started working for Alameda Research in Hong Kong in 2019 and later climbed the corporate ladder to become the CEO of FTX Digital Markets, the FTX subsidiary based in the Bahamas.

Other prominent members running the FTX scam — Caroline Ellison, Nishad Singh and Gary Wang — are yet to be sentenced.

Numerous U.S. lawmakers are supporting a bill that aims to clarify the roles of the country’s financial regulators regarding digital assets to “prevent the next FTX” from happening, according to North Carolina Representative Wiley Nickel.

Nickel called on lawmakers to support the passage of the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century (FIT21) Act, a bill that would clarify how the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission regulate crypto.


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