Ryan Salame, a former executive at FTX, has been sentenced to seven and a half years in prison.

Ryan Salame, the former co-CEO of FTX’s Bahamian subsidiary, has been sentenced to 90 months in prison for making tens of millions of dollars in unlawful campaign donations to causes supported by his boss, Sam Bankman-Fried. Bankman-Fried himself was sentenced to 25 years in prison for stealing $8 billion from FTX customers. Prosecutors allege that Salame, Bankman-Fried, and former FTX engineering chief Nishad Singh used customer funds to donate to political candidates supporting crypto-friendly legislation, leading to one of the biggest financial frauds in U.S. history.

In addition to the prison term, Salame, 30, was sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay over $6 million in forfeiture and more than $5 million in restitution. U.S. Attorney Damian Williams stated that Salame’s involvement in these federal crimes undermined public trust in American elections and the integrity of the financial system. Salame had given over $24 million to Republican candidates and causes in the 2022 election cycle, making him one of the year’s top donors. He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to make unlawful political contributions and one count of conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business.

The sentencing of Salame is part of a larger case that involves multiple individuals at FTX and their involvement in financial fraud and unlawful activities. Bankman-Fried, the founder of the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange, was previously sentenced to 25 years in prison for stealing customer funds. The jury found him guilty on seven fraud and conspiracy counts related to FTX’s collapse. Prosecutors have described the collapse as one of the most significant financial frauds in U.S. history, highlighting the severity of the crimes committed by individuals associated with the exchange.

Salame’s sentencing reflects the serious consequences of engaging in unlawful activities, particularly those that impact the integrity of the financial system and public trust in elections. The significant prison term, along with the required forfeiture and restitution payments, serves as a deterrent to others who may consider similar actions in the future. The involvement of high-profile individuals like Salame and Bankman-Fried in such crimes further emphasizes the need for accountability and justice in cases of financial fraud and misconduct.

The case also sheds light on the need for increased oversight and regulation in the cryptocurrency industry, where unlawful activities can have far-reaching consequences. The utilization of customer funds for unlawful donations, as alleged in this case, highlights the vulnerabilities that exist within the industry and the potential for abuse by bad actors. Addressing these issues through stronger regulatory measures and enforcement actions is crucial to protecting investors and ensuring the integrity of the financial system.

Overall, Salame’s sentencing underscores the importance of upholding the rule of law and holding individuals accountable for their actions, especially in cases involving financial fraud and political corruption. The repercussions of engaging in such unlawful activities, as demonstrated by the severe penalties imposed on Salame and others involved in the case, serve as a warning to those who may attempt to exploit the system for personal gain. Moving forward, addressing these issues through legal measures and oversight is essential to maintaining trust and integrity in the financial and political systems.