Binance founder Changpeng Zhao could be sentenced to 3 years in prison

Changpeng „CZ" Zhao, Ex-CEO von Binance. © Web Summit via Sportsfile (CC BY 2.0)
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Changpeng Zhao – Binance founder and ex-CEO of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, is expected to be sentenced in the United States. In November 2023, he pleaded guilty to money laundering. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is seeking 36 months in prison and a $50 million fine for Zhao, better known as CZ.

36 months in prison for the Binance founder

A short digression: The crypto coin broker Binance was founded in 2017 by CZ, who is also the founder of “FusionSystems”. It is a technology company that produces high-frequency trading systems and offers solutions for the financial services industry. In November 2023, CZ resigned as Binance CEO and pleaded guilty to the money laundering charges. Initially, he was fined $50 million, in addition to the fines imposed on Binance.

Now US authorities are preparing to convict the Binance founder on April 30, 2024. The U.S. Attorney’s Office believes a prison sentence is appropriate, according to an April 23 court filing in U.S. District Court in Washington. The charge is “willful violation of U.S. money laundering laws.” So CZ could go to prison despite the agreed $50 million fine.

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Current situation: CZ at large

Originally, based on federal sentencing guidelines, it was assumed that Zhao could “only” go to prison for 18 months. The defendant, who is currently free on bail of $175 million, did not have to appeal, as cointelegraph reported. After CZ pleaded guilty to money laundering, the ex-CEO and Binance wanted to pay the US government $4.3 billion in fines to end the criminal case. In return, the cryptocurrency exchange was allowed to continue its business – according to the provisions of US law.

There is also a class action lawsuit against Binance in Canada. The company is said to have violated securities law by selling crypto derivatives to retail investors without registration. Although Binance withdrew from Canada in May 2023, local authorities continued to investigate.


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