FTX Case: The Upcoming Sentencing of Former Executive Ryan Salame and Leniency Requests!

Former FTX executive Ryan Salame sentencing
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Sam Trabucco, the former co-CEO of Alameda Research, has resurfaced to defend his friend and former colleague, Ryan Salame, ahead of Salame‘s sentencing set for May 28. Trabucco, who had been notably absent since the collapse of FTX, wrote a letter to Judge Lewis Kaplan, who is overseeing Salame‘s case. In the letter, Trabucco described Salame as his “best friend” and emphasized that Salame “doesn’t deserve to be defined by his worst actions.”

In September 2023, Ryan Salame pled guilty to conspiracy to make unlawful political contributions and defraud the Federal Election Commission and conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business. His attorneys have been asking the court for leniency in the form of an 18-month sentence, according to a sentencing memorandum filed on Tuesday.

In March 2024, Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), 32, co-founder and former CEO of FTX, was sentenced to 25 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $11 billion in forfeiture.

Trabucco, who initially led Alameda Research before sharing the CEO role with Caroline Ellison, departed the company shortly before the downfall of FTX in August 2022. His disappearance had sparked curiosity and speculation within the crypto community, with some suggesting that he might have been cooperating with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

In his letter, Trabucco acknowledged Salame’s mistakes but argued for a fair sentence. “He’s acknowledged that and is prepared to accept the consequences,” Trabucco wrote. “I want those consequences to be fair – not too light, not too excessive, but fair. Because, like anyone, Ryan doesn’t deserve to be defined by his worst actions.”

The letter has fueled speculation about Trabucco’s role in the ongoing investigations into FTX and Alameda Research. Social media speculates that Trabucco might have been a confidential DOJ informant, noting his lack of charges and public silence throughout the proceedings. Despite the speculations, Trabucco has not been formally accused of any wrongdoing. His reappearance and defense of Salame add a new layer of intrigue to the high-profile case. Salame’s sentencing is scheduled for May 28, and the outcome will be closely watched by the crypto community and beyond.

Trabucco’s plea for leniency highlights the complex web of relationships and actions that contributed to the rise and fall of FTX, underscoring the ongoing challenges in regulating the rapidly evolving cryptocurrency industry.

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