Trabucco Backs FTX's Salame Amid Legal Woes, Seeks Leniency

Former Alameda CEO supports FTX's Salame in plea for leniency amid ongoing legal and media scrutiny following exchange collapse.

By Alex P. Chase

5/16, 13:24 EDT
Bitcoin / U.S. dollar

Key Takeaway

  • Sam Trabucco, former co-CEO of Alameda Research, breaks silence to support FTX's Ryan Salame ahead of sentencing.
  • Trabucco, not publicly accused of wrongdoing, received $25 million from Alameda and a 52-foot yacht before FTX's collapse.
  • Salame pleads guilty to conspiracy charges; receives wide-ranging support including from a finance professor and martial arts grandmaster.

FTX Fallout Continues

The aftermath of the FTX collapse has been unfolding for over a year, with key figures from Sam Bankman-Fried’s inner circle facing legal consequences. Among them, Sam Trabucco, a former co-chief executive of Alameda Research, has resurfaced to support Ryan Salame, another FTX executive awaiting sentencing. Trabucco, who had stepped away from the public eye since August 2022, praised Salame in a letter, marking his first public communication since FTX's bankruptcy. This gesture underscores the deep personal connections within FTX's leadership, even as they navigate the legal repercussions of the exchange's downfall.

Salame Seeks Leniency

Ryan Salame, who managed wire deposits and fiat currency conversions at FTX, has pleaded guilty to charges including conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business and to engage in campaign finance fraud. His attorneys have requested an 18-month sentence, emphasizing his cooperation with authorities, genuine remorse, and the operational nature of his role at FTX. They argue that Salame was misled by the core individuals at FTX and Alameda and had no direct involvement in the fraud that led to the companies' collapse.

Cooperation Amidst Crisis

Salame's proactive efforts to alert authorities in The Bahamas about FTX's fraudulent activities have been highlighted as a key factor in his plea for leniency. His voluntary provision of documents to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, without a grand jury subpoena, demonstrates his willingness to aid the investigation. Despite these efforts, Salame faces significant personal and financial losses, compounded by public scrutiny and the lasting stigma of his association with FTX and Bankman-Fried.

Media Scrutiny and Future Prospects

The sentencing memorandum for Salame also addresses the intense media criticism of FTX and its associates, portraying this as an ongoing punishment. The attorneys argue that Salame's reputation has been irreparably damaged, making future employment prospects bleak. This aspect of the case highlights the broader implications of the FTX scandal, affecting not only the legal outcomes for its executives but also their personal and professional lives in the long term.

Management Quotes

  • Sam Trabucco, former co-chief executive of Alameda Research:

    "I will be missing the funniest, most passionate, most supportive friend I’ve ever had."