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Former FTX Co-CEO Ryan Salame to Plead the Fifth, Declares Himself ‘Unavailable as a Witness’


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Former FTX Co-CEO Ryan Salame to Plead the Fifth, Declares Himself 'Unavailable as a Witness

U.S. federal prosecutors have unveiled court documents indicating that ex-FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) is entangled in a web of allegations, with illegal political campaign financing being a significant charge. In light of these allegations against SBF, Ryan Salame, FTX Digital Markets’ former co-CEO, has expressed his intent to plead the Fifth if summoned, thus becoming “unavailable as a witness.”

Former FTX Co-CEO Ryan Salame to Plead the Fifth

Merely a week prior, insiders hinted at Ryan Salame, ex-co-CEO of FTX Digital Markets, navigating a plea agreement. These sources claimed that part of the deal might involve Salame parting with his private jet. Yet, with the re-arrest of SBF and new campaign financing allegations surfacing, Salame’s potential contribution to the case seems limited.

The authorities have pushed for the inclusion of specific evidence during the trial, while sidelining other bits presented by SBF’s defense. The evidence in question encompasses SBF’s supposed bank deception, unlawful campaign contributions, international bribery, crypto price manipulation, and the implementation of auto-delete protocols within his firms.

Furthermore, the prosecution is attempting to remove certain defense-related evidence and arguments, deeming them either irrelevant or unjustly biased. These include claims about the victims’ lack of due diligence, the negative impact of the bankruptcy process on clients, the rapidity of the charges indicating ulterior motives, the idea that virtuous deeds signify innocence, and details about potential penalties. The government’s stance is that such evidence might muddle the issues, misguide the jury, lead to unnecessary delays, or provoke jury nullification.

In a pivotal move, the authorities aim to present alleged remarks by the former FTX co-CEO Ryan Salame, now an “unavailable witness,” about his supposed pact with SBF to illicitly fund political endeavors. Salame’s legal counsel has indicated that Salame would assert his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination if asked to testify. However, the prosecution posits that Salame’s remarks on being a conduit for donations remain valid under the exception to the hearsay rule in Rule 804(b)(3), given they are statements against his interests.

Prosecutors emphasize the credibility of Salame’s alleged comments, pointing to the trail of corporate funds channeled through his accounts for political contributions. Despite his absence, the government maintains that these purported remarks can be treated as statements against Salame’s legal interests. Reports have recurrently suggested that Salame funneled a whopping $24 million to GOP candidates before FTX’s unraveling.

What do you think about Salame being unavailable to testify in the case against SBF? Share your thoughts and opinions about this subject in the comments section below.

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