Ex-Alameda Executive Urges Just Sentencing for Ryan Salame

Last Updated on May 17, 2024

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Person holding smartphone with logo of crypto investment company Alameda Research on screen in front of website. Source: Timon - stock.adobe.com

Key Takeaways:

  • Sam Trabucco’s Leniency Plea: Former Alameda Research co-CEO Sam Trabucco requested leniency for Ryan Salame, citing his role in misappropriating FTX funds and potential impact on his family.
  • Salame’s Guilty Plea: Ryan Salame pleaded guilty to conspiracy and campaign finance fraud, with his legal team recommending an 18-month prison sentence.
  • Legal Proceedings: Judge Lewis Kaplan, who oversaw Sam Bankman-Fried’s trial, will preside over Salame’s sentencing on May 28, with prosecution yet to submit their recommendation.

Sam Trabucco, who resigned as co-CEO of Alameda Research in August 2022, has largely stayed out of the public eye since the collapse of FTX.

Former Alameda Research co-CEO Sam Trabucco, who left the company before the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX and the subsequent criminal charges against many of its executives, has called for leniency in sentencing former FTX Digital Markets co-CEO Ryan Salame.

In a character reference letter dated May 6, filed with a sentencing recommendation in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Trabucco described Salame as his best friend and urged that the consequences of his criminal actions be “fair” considering his role in misappropriating FTX user funds.

Trabucco highlighted their shared experiences in the crypto space and their work with former FTX CEO Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried.

In September 2023, Salame pleaded guilty to conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business and engaging in campaign finance fraud related to contributions to his girlfriend Michelle Bond’s congressional run.

According to Trabucco, Bond and Salame now have a son together, and any prison time could negatively impact his family.

Ryan deserves to face the consequences of his actions — he intimately understands that,” said Trabucco. “All I want is for those consequences to be fair — for him, but also for the world, which will be so much worse off not having him fully in it.”

Trabucco worked as a trader at Alameda starting in 2019 and became co-CEO alongside Caroline Ellison in 2021.

He resigned in August 2022. Like many FTX and Alameda executives, he has largely remained silent on social media since the company’s collapse.

Unlike Salame, FTX co-founder Gary Wang, former FTX engineering director Nishad Singh, and Ellison, Trabucco has not faced any criminal charges from U.S. authorities.

Bankman-Fried was one of the few to plead not guilty and go to trial, while the other executives accepted plea deals. It’s uncertain if anyone besides SBF will serve prison time.

On May 14, Salame’s legal team recommended that the former FTX executive serve no more than 18 months in prison.

As of the time of publication, the prosecution had not filed its recommendation to the court.

Judge Lewis Kaplan, who also oversaw SBF’s criminal trial, will preside over the sentencing hearing on May 28.

Before Bankman-Fried stepped down and FTX filed for bankruptcy, Salame reported the exchange’s fraudulent activities to the Securities Commission of the Bahamas.

Authorities later arranged for SBF’s extradition to the United States, where he was charged and convicted of seven felony counts.

In March, Judge Kaplan sentenced Bankman-Fried to 25 years in prison. His lawyers have filed a notice of appeal.

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