Ryan Salame gets longer prison sentence than CZ

Ryan Salame, the former co-chief exec of FTX Digital Markets, has been sentenced to 90 months in prison for conspiracy to make unlawful political contributions and conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitter. Salame has also been ordered to make $6 million in forfeiture and $5 million in restitution.

Salame was directly involved in the usage of the ‘North Dimension’ entity to aid in maintaining access to bank accounts for FTX, despite it not being appropriately licensed to serve as a money transmitter.

He was also instrumental in FTX’s political influence scheme, working with Sam Bankman-Fried and Nishad Singh to make hundreds of unlawful political donations. Additionally, FTX Digital Markets made hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of payments to Michelle Bond, a failed congressional candidate and romantic partner to Salame. Bond additionally received donations to her campaign from FTX US.

Salame’s sentence weighs in at significantly less than that of his colleague Bankman-Fried, who was recently sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Read more: We read the 230-page investigation into FTX so you don’t have to

However, Salame’s sentence is more than 20 times longer than the recent punishment handed to former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, who was sentenced to just four months in prison for failure to register as a money services business and failure to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program. Zhao had agreed to a plea deal and cooperated with the prosecution.

Salame may be able to benefit from the 2018 First Step Act, which allows for non-violent felony offenders to potentially be released after serving half of their sentence.

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