A former high-ranking FTX executive, Ryan Salame, has pled guilty to a variety of charges, including violation of campaign finance laws. Salame has entered a plea deal with authorities and will be obliged to pay $5 million to FTX debtors, along with $6 million to the US government. Authorities have alleged that Salame made millions of dollars in political donations, mostly to Republicans, under Sam Bankman Fried’s direction – after discovering Salame’s messages which said the purpose of the donations was to “weed out anti crypto Democrats and anti-crypto Republicans for pro crypto Republicans,” as The Atlantic points out in a recent article. This is an interesting development, as SBF was very well-known for being a massive Democratic contributor when it came to political campaign financing. 

Salame, during 2022, is alleged to have spent over $24 million on political candidates over the year 2022 (midterm elections) while working for FTX’s subsidiary in the Bahamas. In addition, the executive admitted that he falsely labeled $10 million of these contributions as “loans”. This development demonstrates that SBF was not a champion of democratic values, as he claimed to be, but rather was simply looking to elevate those politicians sympathetic to crypto business. SBF, prior to FTX’s downfall in November, said in May 2022 that he would spend up to $1 billion throughout the 2024 election cycle: FTX’s founder always had grand designs of entering the political apparatus in one way or another, but all his previous actions seem futile now.