Former FTX Co-CEO Agrees to Transfer .9 Million Bahamas Property in Plea Deal

Ryan Salame, the former co-chief executive of FTX Digital Markets, has agreed to transfer his $5.9 million property in the Bahamas as part of a plea agreement in a criminal case. This agreement was detailed in a motion filed with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware by FTX Trading Ltd and affiliated debtors on May 1.

Salame pleaded guilty to criminal charges in September 2023, which required him to pay $5.6 million in restitution to the debtors. Instead of making a cash payment, Salame has proposed transferring ownership of his Bahamian residence, Unit No. 3A in the Marina Residences at Albany Building 10 Condominium, to FTX Digital Markets Ltd.

The debtors argue that this arrangement is in their best interests as it prevents Salame from selling the property quickly at a discount, which could adversely affect their ability to monetize other Bahamian properties. This decision comes amidst a downturn in the Bahamian real estate market, with high-end sales volumes reported to have dropped by as much as 25% in 2023.

Salame was charged with conspiracy to make unlawful political contributions and defraud the Federal Election Commission, along with conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money-transmitting business.

Details from the filing reveal that Salame purchased the property for $7.2 million in September 2021, with a 10% deposit wired from an Alameda Research account at Silvergate Bank. FTX DM then wired $8.1 million from its bank account at Fidelity Bank in the Bahamas to Salame’s real estate attorney to complete the purchase price.

However, in March 2022, Salame entered into a promissory note with Alameda, agreeing to repay the $8.1 million. The collapse of FTX and Alameda in early November 2022 led to bankruptcy filings, complicating the financial arrangements.

Salame’s sentencing is scheduled for May 28, 2024. Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried was sentenced to 25 years in prison in late March.