Breaking: Binance's Changpeng Zhao Handed Four Months in Prison

Breaking: Binance's Changpeng Zhao Handed Four Months in Prison

Binance’s Founder, Changpeng Zhao, has been sentenced
to four months in prison after pleading guilty to charges related to allowing
money laundering on the cryptocurrency exchange, the Financial Times reported. The sentence, handed down in a
Seattle federal court, marked a significant development in the ongoing legal
battles involving Binance and Zhao.

Plea Deal and Sentencing

Zhao’s sentencing occurred after he struck a deal with the U.S. government in November to resolve a longstanding investigation into Binance. As part of the settlement, Zhao agreed to step down as the exchange’s CEO.

The sentence issued is less severe despite federal prosecutors seeking a three-year prison term. The
defense had advocated for five months of probation, while sentencing guidelines
suggested a term of 12 to 18 months. Zhao was convicted of
willfully failing to implement effective anti-money laundering programs on Binance as
required by the Bank Secrecy Act.

Additionally, he is convicted of allowing Binance to
process transactions involving proceeds of unlawful activity, including those
between Americans and individuals in sanctioned jurisdictions. As part of the resolution, Binance was ordered to pay
$4.3 billion in fines last year. Zhao agreed to personally pay a fine worth $50 million.

Pending Legal Battles

Beyond Zhao’s sentencing, Binance faces other legal
challenges. The exchange was separately sued by the US Securities and
Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
over allegations of mishandling customer assets and operating an illegal and unregistered exchange in the US.

Early this year, a federal judge rejected Zhao’s request to travel to the United Arab Emirates. The judge denied the plea due to concerns about flight risk despite Zhao offering substantial collateral, including his equity in Binance.

Meanwhile, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the Philippines recently took action against Binance. According to the regulator, the leading crypto exchange has continued to operate without the required license despite warnings dating back to November 2023. The SEC’s action includes a formal request to the National Telecommunications Commission to block Binance’s website and associated web pages.

Binance’s regulatory woes are not limited to the Philippines. Regulatory bodies worldwide have intensified scrutiny of the exchange’s activities, citing investor protection and compliance concerns. Binance has encountered regulatory hurdles from France to Nigeria, comprising warnings and lawsuits.

This article was written by Jared Kirui at

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