Ryan Salame: FTX Co-CEO blew the whistle on Sam Bankman-Fried to authorities in the Bahamas

In the final days of Sam Bankman-Fried’s leadership of FTX, his co-CEO blew the whistle to authorities about his financial misdeeds, according to new court documents from the Bahamas.  

Bankman-Fried, 30, was arrested Monday in the Bahamas at the request of the U.S. government, and remains in custody after being denied bail.

He has been charged with eight criminal violations, ranging from wire fraud to money laundering to conspiracy to commit fraud. If convicted of all the charges, Bankman-Fried could face decades in jail.

The news documents show that on November 9, Ryan Salame, 29, the co-CEO of FTX’s operation in the Bahamas, where told authorities on the island that FTX was using customer money to cover losses accrued at Alameda Research, the hedge fund started by Bankman-Fried’s girlfriend Caroline Ellison. 

Ryan Salame became chief executive at FTX in September 2021 and has referred to Sam Bankman-Fried as an 'inspiration' in the past

Ryan Salame became chief executive at FTX in September 2021 and has referred to Sam Bankman-Fried as an ‘inspiration’ in the past  

Bankman-Fried, 30, was arrested Monday in the Bahamas at the request of the U.S. government, and remains in custody after being denied bail

Bankman-Fried, 30, was arrested Monday in the Bahamas at the request of the U.S. government, and remains in custody after being denied bail

Salame told the Securities Commission of The Bahamas that the transferring of funds in this manner was contrary to the company’s to the normal operations of the company. 

The docs read in one section: ‘Such transfers were not allowed and therefore may constitute misappropriation, theft, fraud or some other crime.’ 

The Massachusetts native went on to point out that only Bankman-Fried, or his lieutenants, co-founder, Ziziao (Gary) Wang or Nishat Singh as having the clearance to make such transactions.  

The documents name Bankman-Fried, Wang and Singh as all residing in the Bahamas while Salame is a resident of Washington DC. He has not spoken publicly since FTX began to collapse in early November. 

On November 6, he tweeted: ‘It’s so powerful learning who your friends are! Very excited to grow with them in the long term. It’s not hard to genuinely figure out who cares about customers and who doesn’t if you look past the insanity.’ 

FTX Director of Engineering Nishad Singh was named as one of those with the ability to okay the use of customer's money to pay off debts

The same was true of FTX co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Gary Wang

FTX Director of Engineering Nishad Singh was named as one of those with the ability to okay the use of customer’s money to pay off debts, the same was true of FTX co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Gary Wang

As recently as August, Salame was publicly supportive of Bankman-Fried saying in a tweet showing a video of the founder: ‘Absolute honor working for this man, one of the most caring / humble / genuine people I’ve ever met.’

Salame, a graduate of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, began his career in finance with Ernst & Young in Boston and went on to work for Alameda Research in Hong Kong. 

He graduated from UMass-Amherst with a degree in Accounting and Economics with a minor in African American studies and later attained a Master’s from Georgetown Salame is also a fourth degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. 

A profile on the UMass-Amherst website describes Salame as ‘assisting Sam Bankman-Fried with the founding and creation of FTX Trading Ltd, the parent company of FTX Digital Markets Ltd (FDM) before becoming CEO of FTX Digital Markets in September 1, 2021.’

The bio goes on to say: ‘Ryan has also been inspired by FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried and his desire to make a powerful and positive impact on the world through philanthropy.’ 

Ryan Salame, left, pictured with his girlfriend Michelle Bond, Donald Trump Jr and Kimberly Guilfoyle earlier this year

Ryan Salame, left, pictured with his girlfriend Michelle Bond, Donald Trump Jr and Kimberly Guilfoyle earlier this year 

In 2022, Salame donated $100,000 to his girlfriend's campaign for congress on Long Island

In 2022, Salame donated $100,000 to his girlfriend’s campaign for congress on Long Island

On his LinkedIn page, Salame is still listed as the Co-Chief Executive Officer of FTX Digital Markets

On his LinkedIn page, Salame is still listed as the Co-Chief Executive Officer of FTX Digital Markets

On his LinkedIn page, Salame is still listed as the Co-Chief Executive Officer of FTX Digital Markets. 

In March 2022, Salame was named as the president of FTX Property, during which time he signed off on a penthouse in the Bahamas that was to be used by ‘key personnel.’ 

The massive apartment, served by two separate elevators, boasts a private terrace area with a bar and Jacuzzi spa, according to the resort’s website. It was rumored that it was the home of Caroline Ellison.  

Earlier in November, the current FTX CEO John J. Ray III, told a US bankruptcy court in November that a $55 million loan given to Salame by Alameda Research was outstanding. 

At the same time, Ray revealed that Alameda has lent FTX engineer Nishad Singh $543 million.  

In addition to his crypto career, Salame has amassed a portfolio of high-end restaurants in his native Berkshire County in Massachusetts. Those are worth around $6 million, reports the Berkshire Eagle. 

The eateries do not appear to have been effected by the FTX collapse.  

In terms of politics, Salame split from his partner, Bankman-Fried, long ago to spend $23.6 million — with the majority to help Republicans.

Salame founded a hybrid super PAC earlier this year called the American Dream Federal Action.

Salame previously worked for Bankman-Fried's girlfriend, Caroline Ellison, pictured here, in Hong Kong

Salame previously worked for Bankman-Fried’s girlfriend, Caroline Ellison, pictured here, in Hong Kong  

It spent $3.4 million supporting Illinois Republican Congressman Rodney Davis, $2 million supporting Republican Senate candidate Katie Britt of Alabama and $1.2 million each supporting Arkansas GOP Sen. John Boozman and Brad Finstad, a GOP congressional candidate in Minnesota.

The PAC describes itself online as an ‘organization dedicated to electing forward-looking candidates — those who want to protect America’s long term economic and national security by advancing smart policy decisions now.

Earlier this year, Salame founded a pro-crypto political lobbying group alongside Anthony Scaramucci, who infamously served as Donald Trump’s communications director for 11 days.  

Salame previously told the Washington Examiner that much of the money was designed to ensure that the US government was better equipped to fight another potential pandemic. 

Salame said: ‘Living through and going through COVID, it became abundantly clear that we’re not prepared for pandemics and not prepared for … future viral outbreaks. It’s one of the best things that we can do for the future.’ 

He is currently in a relationship with New York congressional Republican candidate Michelle Bond, 43. During her election campaign in Long Island this year, Salame donated $100,000 to her account. 

Bond called herself a ‘strong supporter of President Trump’s America First mindset and policies’ in campaign literature. The FTX co-CEO did not have a formal role in the ultimately failed campaign. 

At a news conference on Tuesday, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams in New York called FTX’s activities ‘one of the biggest frauds in American history,’ and said the investigation is ongoing and fast-moving.

Bankman-Fried has fallen hard and fast from the top of the cryptocurrency industry he helped to evangelize. FTX filed for bankruptcy on Nov. 11, when it ran out of money after the cryptocurrency equivalent of a bank run.

Before the bankruptcy, he was considered by many in Washington and on Wall Street as a wunderkind of digital currencies, someone who could help take them mainstream, in part by working with policymakers to bring more oversight and trust to the industry.

source: dailymail.co.uk