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FTX’s fourth top executive to plead guilty ahead of Sam Bankman-Fried trial

Ryan Salame, a former top executive at cryptocurrency exchange FTX, is set to plead guilty to criminal charges related to the massive fraud case against FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, a person with knowledge of the matter says. .

A federal court hearing is scheduled for Thursday afternoon, at which Mr. Salame is expected to plead guilty, according to the person and a notice sent by federal prosecutors. Mr. Salamé is under investigation for campaign finance violations, but the charges against him are not immediately clear.

Mr. Salame, who ran the FTX subsidiary in the Bahamas and was a prolific donor to Republican politicians, is set to become the fourth executive in Mr. Bankman-Fried’s circle of close advisers to admit criminal conduct since the November collapse of FTX.

The move increases legal pressure on Mr Bankman-Fried, 31, who has been charged with fraud following the collapse of FTX and is due to stand trial from October 3. He pleaded not guilty. After FTX’s implosion and Mr. Bankman-Fried’s criminal indictment, three of his closest colleagues – Nishad Singh, Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang – pleaded guilty to fraud and agreed to cooperate against him.

Mr. Salamé’s plea deal was reported earlier by Bloomberg.

A spokesperson for Mr. Salame and a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, which is overseeing the FTX case, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

This is a developing news item. Stay tuned for updates.

Benjamin Weiser contributed reporting.