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Ex-Alameda Research Co-CEO Advocates ‘Fair’ Sentencing for Ryan Salame

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Ex-Alameda Research Co-CEO Advocates 'Fair' Sentencing for Ryan Salame

Sam Trabucco, who previously served as co-CEO of Alameda Research, has recently advocated for leniency in the sentencing of his close friend and former FTX Digital Markets co-CEO, Ryan Salame. Trabucco, who stepped down before the notorious fall of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX and the subsequent criminal charges against its top executives, made his plea in a character reference letter dated May 6. This letter was submitted alongside a sentencing recommendation to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. In it, Trabucco emphasizes the importance of a “fair” outcome for Salame, considering his role in the misappropriation of FTX user funds.

Trabucco detailed his strong friendship with Salame, which developed through their mutual involvement in the crypto industry and their professional relationship with former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, also known as SBF. Their bond was fortified by shared experiences in a rapidly evolving sector, working closely together during their tenures at FTX and Alameda Research.

In September 2023, Salame confessed to charges of conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business and campaign finance fraud, connected to political contributions supporting his girlfriend Michelle Bond’s Congressional campaign. Trabucco highlighted the potential personal repercussions of a prison sentence on Salame’s family life, noting that Salame and Bond now have a son. He expressed deep concern that imprisonment could severely impact Salame’s relationship with his child.

“Ryan recognizes the need for accountability for his actions,” Trabucco stated in his letter. “I urge for these consequences to be just both for Ryan and for the broader community, which stands to lose significantly without his full presence.”

Trabucco’s career at Alameda began in 2019 as a trader, later advancing to the role of co-CEO in 2021 alongside Caroline Ellison. He resigned from the company in August 2022, prior to the collapse of FTX. Since the downfall, Trabucco, like many other executives from FTX and Alameda, has remained largely silent on public platforms. Unlike some of his peers, such as FTX co-founder Gary Wang, former FTX engineering director Nishad Singh, and co-CEO Ellison, Trabucco has not faced any criminal charges from U.S. authorities.

Among the executives, SBF is one of the few who pleaded not guilty and opted for a trial, whereas others took plea deals. It remains uncertain who, apart from SBF, will serve time behind bars.

Salame’s attorneys have recommended that he should be sentenced to no more than 18 months of prison time. This recommendation was made on May 14, although the prosecution had yet to file its own recommendation at the time of writing. Judge Lewis Kaplan, who presided over SBF’s criminal trial, is also set to oversee Salame’s sentencing hearing scheduled for May 28.

Before the dismantling of FTX and SBF’s subsequent resignation and bankruptcy filings, Salame took a significant step by reporting FTX’s fraudulent activities to the Securities Commission of the Bahamas. This action contributed to the arrangement of SBF’s extradition to the United States, where he faced multiple felony charges and was ultimately convicted on seven counts.

In a recent March ruling, Judge Kaplan sentenced Bankman-Fried to 25 years in prison. SBF’s legal team has since filed a notice of appeal, seeking to contest the sentence.

11 thoughts on “Ex-Alameda Research Co-CEO Advocates ‘Fair’ Sentencing for Ryan Salame

  1. This is a classic case of trying to reduce sentences for white-collar crimes. Salame should face robust justice.

  2. Just because Trabucco is trying to spin this in a softer light doesn’t change the facts. Fraud is fraud.

  3. Trabucco’s efforts to support Ryan demonstrate that friendship and empathy are just as important as accountability.

  4. Sam’s concern for Ryan’s family, particularly his son, strikes a chord. Justice should always consider family impact.

  5. Taking a stand for your friend is understandable, but not at the expense of legal integrity. 😕🚓

  6. Friendships like Ryan and Sam’s form the backbone of the crypto industry. Wishing for a balanced and just outcome.

  7. If accountability is what they seek, leniency isn’t the way to achieve it. Let the punishment fit the crime. 👩‍⚖️🕵️‍♂️

  8. This reeks of a double standard. Regular folks wouldn’t get off so easy. Hold them accountable!

  9. It’s inspiring to see someone publicly advocate for a fair judicial process. Trabucco’s plea for Ryan is commendable.

  10. It’s touching to see Sam advocate for Ryan’s future with his child in mind. Hoping the court considers this.

  11. It’s touching to see Sam’s public support for Ryan, emphasizing the importance of fair outcomes.

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