The home of former FTX co-CEO Ryan Salame has reportedly been searched by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as further scrutiny falls on the executive for his close advisory role to Sam Bankman-Fried.
An April 27 report from The New York Times, citing people with knowledge of the matter, said the Bureau searched Salame’s $4 million home in Potomac, Maryland on the morning of April 27.
It remains unclear what the authorities were looking for. Salame was the co-CEO of FTX Digital Markets, which was FTX’s Bahamas-based subsidiary.
As reported by Cointelegraph, Salame was a substantial beneficiary of suspicious loans and payments given to a number of the top executives of FTX by way of the now-bankrupt firms’ trading house Alameda Research.
Salame was the fourth-largest recipient of these payments, having received a total sum of $87 million in compensation. Bankman-Fried received $2.2 billion while former engineering director Nishad Singh and co-founder Zixiao “Gary” Wang received $587 million and $246 million respectively.
FTX’s new management, headed by attorney and bankruptcy specialist John Ray III, said at the time that it would be further investigating its rights to pursue potential action against the recipients, along with their subsequent transferees, and that ongoing efforts are “expected to result in the further identification of assets, liabilities and transfers.”
It added that it was assessing the different ways it could seek to claw back the funds from the former executives.
According to Bahamian court filings from Dec. 14, 2022, Salame was the first executive from FTX or Alameda Research to begin assisting authorities with their investigation. Salame blew the whistle to the Securities Commission of the Bahamas (SCB) on Nov. 9 that FTX was sending customer funds to its sister trading firm Alameda Research.
Additionally, Salame told the SCB that the funds were to “cover financial losses of Alameda” and the transfer was “not allowed or consented to by their clients.”
He also informed the SCB only three people had the access required to transfer client assets to Alameda: Bankman-Fried, Wang and Singh.
According to government donation tracking service Open Secrets, Salame was one of the foremost political donors in the 2022 election, having donated more than $23 million to Republican campaigns across more than 200 individual donations.
Cointelegraph contacted Salame’s lawyer Jason Linder and the FBI for comment but did not immediately receive a response.