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FTX, once a crypto exchange giant, collapsed last November after an unprecedented crisis in digital asset markets © AP

Former FTX executive Ryan Salame has pleaded guilty to criminal charges related to the collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange, less than a month before the trial against founder Sam Bankman-Fried is set to begin.

At a court hearing on Thursday, Salame admitted to conspiring to make unlawful political contributions and conspiring to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business.

The 30-year-old said he had made donations totalling tens of millions of dollars to Republican candidates in the run-up to the 2022 midterms in his own name. The donations were actually “funded by transfers from the bank accounts of an Alameda subsidiary”, he said, referring to an FTX-affiliated trading firm.

While those transfers were categorised as loans, Salame said he “never intended to repay them”.

Read more about the charges against Ryan Salame here.

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