Co-CEO Ryan Salame Exposes FTX Truth
According to recent reports, authorities were alerted of the FTX's fraud before it made headlines. Co-CEO Ryan Salame alerted Bahamian authorities a few days before FTX filed for bankruptcy in November.
He alleged that founder Sam Bankman-Fried might have defrauded investors by transferring money to his sister company, Alameda Research.
Ryan Salame takes on FTX and Sam Bankman-Fried
Contrary to the vast majority of market rumours, one of the company's top executives, not Changpeng Zhao (CZ) of Binance, was the one who brought down SBF and FTX. The declaration made on Wednesday is the first time an insider's turn against Bankman-Fried has been acknowledged publicly.
According to Bahamian court documents filed on 14 December, Ryan Salame, the former co-CEO of FTX Digital Markets (FDM), informed the SCB (Securities Commission of the Bahamas) on 9 November that the company was sending client funds to its sister trading company Alameda Research.
Salame claimed that the transfer was neither authorised nor approved by clients and that the money was intended to compensate for Alameda's financial losses. Furthermore, he disclosed to the SCB that only three people had the authority to transfer client assets to Alameda: the engineer Nishad Singh, the former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, and Zixiao “Gary” Wang, the other co-founder of the company.
Salame claimed that he informed Bankman-Fried and Alameda executives that it was against "normal corporate governance" for client funds to have been mixed with Alameda's.
Following that, Christina Rolle, executive director of the SCB, requested an investigation from the commissioner of the Royal Bahamas Police Force because the information “may have held misappropriation, theft, fraud, or some other crime".
The following day, 10 November, the SCB froze FDM's assets and suspended its registration in the country. A provisional liquidator was appointed by the Bahamian Supreme Court to try to save the company's assets. According to the filings, Salame is believed to be in Washington, DC, and has not spoken publicly since the exchange's downfall.
His most recent public tweet was on 7 November, when he responded "lol" to Binance co-founder Yi He after He explained why the exchange sold its FTX Token FTT holdings.
The collapse of FTX has had an absurd impact on the industry
Mixing SBF's companies' funds was a significant issue in the FTX scandal. In recent weeks, another former executive from FTX's affiliated companies is thought to have been assisting authorities.
On 4 December, images purportedly showing Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison in a coffee shop near the US Attorney's Office fueled rumours. Following the company crash, the cryptocurrency community believes she may have made a deal with authorities.
Bankman-Fried is, to date, the only person charged in connection with FTX and Alameda so far. He is accused of money laundering, political campaign finance violations, and wire and securities fraud.
Bankman-Fried, Wang, Singh, and Ellison are said to have run a "wirefraud" group chat on Signal, the encrypted messaging app, to send sensitive information about FTX and Alameda's operations. Bankman-Fried denied any knowledge of or participation in the group.
Author: Priya Kumari
Priya is a passionate content writer and the co-founder of Finendorse. She is an enthusiastic crypto investor and has a huge interest in the upcoming digitisation age.