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May 28, 2024

Better Markets Applauds Court for Sentencing Former FTX Executive and Sam Bankman-Fried Crony Ryan Salame to Prison for 7 ½ Years

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Dennis Kelleher, Co-founder, President, and CEO, issued the following statement in connection with the sentencing of Ryan Salame, former FTX executive:

“We applaud Federal Judge Lewis A. Kaplan for sending a clear message to crypto criminals today: break the law, enrich yourself, and corrupt elections means a prison sentence even longer than the one asked for by the Department of Justice (DOJ).  Judge Kaplan sentenced former FTX executive and Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) crony Ryan Salame to 7 ½ years in prison even though the DOJ only asked for a sentence of 5 to 7 years. That’s what punishment and deterrence looks like: if criminals—especially white-collar criminals—don’t lose their liberty and wealth, they will just keep breaking the law, which will incentivize others to do the same, as Judge Kaplan expressly recognized.

“Salame was at the center of ‘one of the largest ever’ campaign finance offenses in American history, according to the DOJ. He and SBF pioneered crypto’s corruption of the political process to buy influence and push their priorities to the top of the agenda in Washington. Fortunately, they mostly failed, but as revealed by last week’s House vote in favor of crypto’s favored if not drafted legislation, campaign cash from the crypto industry continues to have outsized influence in Washington.

“Salame and SBF didn’t do any of this alone. Their crimes had to require the participation and knowledge of dozens of others, many of whom got rich and remain rich from these criminal activities. The DOJ should also get the message from this sentencing and redouble its efforts to investigate, arrest, and prosecute everyone else who assisted, knew about, or participated in SBF’s and Salame’s criminal campaign finance schemes. This is especially important because although Salame pleaded guilty, he did not become a cooperating witness and, therefore, his many coconspirators are still on the loose, unpunished, and undeterred.

“The American people deserve better than the best Congress crypto money can buy. That means the DOJ must aggressively go after the rest of the crypto criminals, including SBF’s and Salame’s co-conspirators, not just those who walked in the door and plead guilty.”


Better Markets is a non-profit, non-partisan, and independent organization founded to promote the public interest in the financial markets, support the financial reform of Wall Street and make our financial system work for all Americans again. Better Markets works with allies—including many in finance—to promote pro-market, pro-business and pro-growth policies that help build a stronger, safer financial system that protects and promotes Americans’ jobs, savings, retirements and more. To learn more, visit

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