In a dramatic turn of events, former FTX executive Ryan Salame will plead guilty to criminal charges related to the implosion of Sam Bankman-Fried’s former cryptocurrency exchange.
According to a Bloomberg report, citing people familiar with the case, Salame is likely to roll over and help prosecutors in their case against the remaining FTX executives.
Ryan Salame Is the Latest to Roll Over for Prosecutors
Salame, the former co-CEO of FTX Digital Markets, will appear in a Manhattan federal court this Thursday. According to Bloomberg, this development comes after extensive talks with prosecutors.
The plea is the fourth from a senior FTX executive. Caroline Ellison, the former girlfriend of Bankman-Fried, pleaded guilty and agreed to fully cooperate with the Southern District of New York’s Investigation into FTX on December 21, 2022.
Ellison, who was also CEO of Alameda Research, the sister company of FTX, agreed to forfeit all of the assets gained during her tenure at the company. Her relationship with Bankman-Fried has been highly controversial.
Additionally, former FTX co-founder Gary Wang has also pleaded guilty to multiple criminal charges. They include wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit commodities fraud, and conspiracy to commit securities fraud.
FTX Leadership Falling Like Dominoes
That leaves Sam Bankman-Fried, FTX’s former CEO and founder. The once-feted tech entrepreneur denies all charges against him. He is currently holed up in Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center awaiting trial. Bankman-Fried and his lawyers have repeatedly complained about the conditions of his detention.
FTX collapsed spectacularly in November of 2022. A report by CoinDesk prompted a crisis of confidence in the exchange’s balance sheets.
This disclosure led to customer withdrawals exceeding deposits, prompting rival exchange Binance to announce plans to acquire FTX. With Binance withdrawing its offer and unable to find emergency funding, FTX and Alameda Research filed for bankruptcy.
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