Prosecutors in New York are reportedly looking into former FTX Digital Markets co-CEO Ryan Salame for potential violations of campaign finance law in the United States.
According to a July 11 report from The New York Times, Salame and his girlfriend Michelle Bond — a Republican candidate who ran to represent New York’s 1st congressional district in 2022 — may have exceeded the federal limits on contributions during her campaign. Authorities are reportedly investigating financial ties between Salame and Bond dealing with her congressional campaign, which did not move beyond the Republican primary.
The investigation appeared to be separate from federal charges other individuals tied to FTX and its subsidiaries have faced since the exchange filed for bankruptcy in November 2022. Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried awaits two criminal trials on his role in the alleged crimes, while former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison and FTX co-founder Gary Wang pleaded guilty to fraud charges in December 2022.
According to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), individuals could donate up to $2,900 to a primary campaign for a candidate for federal office as well as up to $2,900 for the general election in 2022. FEC records showed Salame made two donations of $2,900 each to support Bond’s campaign in Massachusetts for the primary, as well as two donations of $2,900 each for the general election. Bond personally contributed more than $145,000 and lent her own campaign more than $877,000.
Officials with the Federal Bureau of Investigation reportedly conducted a search of Salame’s residence in April. At the time of publication, he has not been charged with anything related to his time at FTX Digital Markets — the exchange’s Bahamian arm — where he worked as co-CEO starting in December 2021.
Salame reported FTX to Bahmanian authorities on the exchange sending user funds to Alameda Research. It’s unclear what role he may play in the criminal trials of Bankman-Fried, scheduled to begin in October 2023 and March 2024.
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