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FTX Ryan Salame Pleads Guilty to Campaign Finance Charges that DOJ Let SBF Avoid

by Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Book Substack

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Sept 7 –   After Sam Bankman-Fried had the campaign finance charged against him dropped, ostensibly at the request of the Bahamas, on September 7, 2023 FTX / Alameda's Ryan Salame pled guilty to them.   There was a proceeding before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Lewis A. Kaplan. Inner City Press live tweeted it, thread:

All rise! Meyer Brown law firm for Ryan Salame, gets admitted pro hac vice. Judge Kaplan reads out the Rule 5(f) order about producing all discovery information.  

Judge Kaplan: I understand the defendant intends to enter a plea of guilty to the S-7 information. I understand your name is pronounced "Salem"? Salame: Yes.

Kaplan: Sit down, this is not going to be four minutes like across the street...   Judge Kaplan: How far did you get in school? Salame: Master's degree. Judge Kaplan: You are waiting the right to be indicted? Salame: I am.  Judge Kaplan: Have you received a copy of the information? Salame: I have.

 Judge Kaplan: You are charged with conspiracy to defraud the Federal Elections Committee - campaign contribution charges. [Unlike SBF...]  AUSA: He is charged with making a campaign contribution on behalf of a corporation, which is illegal... Also, to defraud the FEC.

 Judge Kaplan: Mr Salame, do you understand the charges? Salame: Yes, Your Honor.  Judge Kaplan: The maximum penalty for this count is five years in prison... Also, operating an unlicenced money transmitting business.

AUSA: Section 1960 of Title 18 of the US Code... The business failed to register.  Judge Kaplan: The maximum penalty is the same as on Count 1, and it could be consecutive. You will be required to forfeit to the US... Also you will pay to the US $6 million by the time you are sentenced and give up two properties in Lenox Mass and a Porsche auto

 Judge Kaplan: If any information you provided in your financial affidavit to the US is false, the US is free to enforce a larger money judgment. You will make restitution to persons in the amount of [$5 million] to the debtors of FTX 

Judge Kaplan: The Court cannot sentence you to more that the maximum I have described. I understand you have entered a plea agreement. Is this it? Salame: Yes.  Judge Kaplan: Under this plea agreement, you are waiving any right to appeal any sentence below the stipulated guideline of 120 months. Do you understand? Salame: Yes. 

Judge Kaplan: What did you do?

Salame: I made $10 million in political contributions and called them loans, which I never intended to repay. This was supported by Sam Bankman-Fried. I knew it was prohibited. Judge Kaplan: Government?

AUSA: We can proffer on venue AUSA: Some of the politicians were in the Southern District of New York. Salame: As Alameda's head of settlements I used banks, one used in California. I was unaware licensure was required. But now I know.  AUSA: On venue, wires transferred through the SDNY

Judge Kaplan: How do you plead?

Salame: Guilty.

Judge Kaplan: I accept your plea. What about a sentencing date?

 AUSA Raymond: The normal - four months. In January. Courtroom Deputy, Andy: January 10 at 3 pm. 

AUSA: We would like to make our submission to Probation after the trial of Sam Bankman-Fried. Judge Kaplan: When to you think that will be? AUSA: November. Judge Kaplan: I hope you're right. It's due the day before Thanksgiving.

  Judge Kaplan: We'll have to push back the sentencing, then. Courtroom Deputy Andy: March 6, 3 pm.

Judge Kaplan: Any application concerning bail? AUSA: We have a proposed order. Judge Kaplan: He is released on the terms in the order, $1 million bond, 2 co-signers

 Judge Kaplan: If there is nothing else, we stand adjourned.

More including analysis on Substack here


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