Former FTX top executive Ryan Salame pleaded guilty Thursday in New York to two criminal charges related to the collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange last November. Salame has agreed to forfeit approximately US$1.5 billion, including two real estate properties and a Porsche automobile, according to The New York Times.

See related article: Sam Bankman-Fried’s lawyers granted unlimited prison visits; FTX tries to sell crypto holdings

Fast facts

  • Salame, the former co-chief executive of FTX’s Bahamas-based subsidiary FTX Digital Markets, pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to operate unlicensed money transmitting business and conspiracy to make unlawful political contributions, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York.
  • Salame is the fourth FTX top-level associate to plead guilty to charges involved with FTX, following Nishad Singh, Gary Wang and Caroline Ellison
  • The court trial for FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried is expected to take place on Oct. 3, over his alleged multibillion-dollar wire and securities fraud charges.
  • Bankman-Fried was jailed Aug. 11 for witness tampering, following his arrest in the Bahamas in December 2022. He maintains his innocence and has pleaded not guilty to all 13 charges brought against him.
  • FTX and its sister hedge fund Alameda Research filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Nov. 1. Allegations of misappropriation of billions of dollars in client funds and other wrongdoings soon followed.
  • Now led by corporate restructuring expert John J. Ray III, FTX is trying to sell, stake and hedge the exchange’s US$3 billion of crypto holdings. The Wall Street Journal reported in late June that the company is now mulling a revival.

See related article: Why FTX deserves a second chance