Binance Founder Changpeng Zhao Sentenced to Four Months; Fined $50M

Binance Founder Changpeng Zhao Sentenced to Four Months; Fined $50M

By: Eva Baxter

Binance's founder Changpeng Zhao, commonly known as CZ, has been sentenced to four months in prison for failing to establish a proper anti-money laundering program at his cryptocurrency exchange. The sentencing occurred in Seattle and is the culmination of U.S authorities' lengthy investigation into the exchange's practices.

Zhao had pleaded guilty to the Department of Justice (DOJ) charges in November 2023, and subsequently stepped down from his role as CEO. He will also pay a personal fine of $50 million, an amount that still leaves him with a significant amount of his personal wealth of approximately $43 billion.

The court’s judgment is considerably lighter than the three-year prison term that was initially sought by the prosecution. Binance, on the other hand, has been ordered to pay a hefty fine of $4.3 billion. The company also faces separate lawsuits from the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

This landmark case underscores the seriousness with which regulatory authorities are treating breaches of anti-money laundering protocols within the cryptocurrency industry.

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