A 4th FTX executive reportedly plans to plead guilty over crypto exchange’s collapse, isolating Sam Bankman-Fried ahead of trial – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

A 4th FTX executive reportedly plans to plead guilty over crypto exchange’s collapse, isolating Sam Bankman-Fried ahead of trial

Sam Bankman-Fried.

ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

Former FTX executive Ryan Salame is expected to plead guilty to criminal charges.
The expected plea further isolates Sam Bankman-Fried, who is scheduled to go to trial in October.
Salame was one of Bankman-Fried’s political fixers.

Former FTX executive Ryan Salame plans to plead guilty to charges related to the collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange, according to multiple reports.

Salame would be the fourth top official in the exchange to plead guilty to charges brought by the US Attorney’s office in Manhattan. Sam Bankman-Fried, the company’s former CEO and founder, is scheduled to go to trial on fraud and conspiracy charges in October.

Salame’s court appearance is scheduled to take place Thursday afternoon in Manhattan federal court, according to a spokesperson for the US Attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York, which brought the case.

It’s not immediately clear which charges Salame may plead guilty to and whether he will testify at Bankman-Fried’s trial, as the other former executives are expected to.

Prosecutors say Bankman-Fried and other executives defrauded FTX investors and depositors by commingling funds with Alameda Research, a hedge fund Bankman-Fried also controlled. News about the mixed use of funds led to the collapse of the exchange and wiped out the value of its in-house proprietary tokens.

Former Bankman-Fried lieutenants Caroline Ellison, Gary Wang, and Nishad Singh have all pleaded guilty to fraud charges and agreed to cooperate with the Justice Department in its investigation.

Salame, a native of the Berkshires in Massachusetts, has made a name for himself in the restaurant business there. He operates, among others, Firefly Gastropub and Olde Heritage Tavern — two restaurants in Lenox — that are favorites among locals and seasonal residents alike.

Within FTX, Salame connected Bankman-Fried to political power brokers and helped try to legitimize cryptocurrency in the corridors of Washington, DC. While Bankman-Fried poured millions into causes associated with Democratic candidates, Salame did the same for Republican candidates.

In addition to fraud and conspiracy allegations, federal prosecutors previously brought charges alleging Bankman-Fried participated in a straw donor scheme. They dropped that part of the indictment in July because of the United States’ extradition treaty with the Bahamas, where Bankman-Fried was first arrested, which does not cover the charges.

Bankman-Fried, meanwhile, remains in federal jail in Brooklyn ahead of his trial. His lawyers have argued that, under custody, he has too little time and opportunity to review the evidence prosecutors collected for their case.

Haven Orecchio-Egresitz contributed reporting.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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