US Prosecutors Recommend 3-Year Prison Sentence for Binance's Changpeng Zhao: Report

US prosecutors have proposed a 36-month prison sentence for Binance’s former CEO, Changpeng Zhao. According to a report by
CNBC, the prosecutors argued that such a sentence, which is double the advisory
guidelines, reflects the seriousness of the charges against Zhao.

The recommendation, outlined in a sentencing
memorandum filed with the Western District Court of Washington, highlights the
severity of the accusations against Zhao, who stepped down from his position
last November following a plea deal with the US Department of Justice.

US Prosecutors’ Charges Against Zhao

US prosecutors said a 36-month custodial sentence
is necessary to underscore the seriousness of the charges against Zhao, which
include failure to implement anti-money laundering measures as mandated
by the Bank Secrecy Act. The memorandum emphasized Zhao’s alleged role in
allowing Binance to process transactions involving unlawful
activities, including those from sanctioned countries.

The case against Zhao occurs amidst a backdrop of legal
challenges for Binance, with the exchange facing lawsuits from both the US
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading
Commission (CFTC).

Allegations include mishandling customer assets and
operating an illegal, unregistered exchange in the US. Authorities have also
ordered Binance to pay hefty fines, with Zhao agreeing to a $50 million penalty
as part of the plea deal. However, he has not
publicly commented on the recent developments. Zhao’s official sentencing is
scheduled for April 30.

Binance CEO’s Legal Struggle

In January, a federal judge rejected a travel request
from Zhao to visit his home in the United Arab Emirates for a family emergency. The judge deemed him a significant flight risk due to his immense
wealth and ties to the UAE, despite offering to post his $4.5 billion equity in Binance as security for his

In November, Zhao pleaded guilty in a Seattle federal
court to failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program at
Binance. As part of the case, Binance agreed to pay $4.3 billion in penalties.

In a letter to Judge Richard Jones dated December 22,
Zhao’s lawyers requested permission for him to travel to Abu Dhabi on January 4
for one to four weeks due to a family emergency. However, federal prosecutors did not consent to Zhao’s
request, leading to a hearing on December 29, where Judge Jones denied
the travel bid.

This article was written by Jared Kirui at

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