Former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao Sentenced to Four Months in Jail
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Former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao Sentenced to Four Months in Jail

  • Judge Richard Jones expressed his disagreement with a three-year sentence.
  • Binance is collaborating with the authorities and has instituted a KYC and AML policy.

Changpeng Zhao (CZ), the former CEO of Binance, pled guilty to charges of money laundering and was sentenced to four months in jail on Tuesday in Seattle.

In his statement to the sentencing judge on Tuesday, Zhao expressed regret and a desire to own up to his “mistakes.” The Verge reports that he also said that Binance is collaborating with the authorities and has instituted a Know Your Customer and anti-money laundering policy.

Historic Judgement

The prosecution wanted Zhao jail time of 36 months, claiming that he and his exchange preyed on American users and broke American laws on purpose.

According to CoinDesk’s live coverage from the courtroom, Judge Richard Jones of the US District Court for the Western District of Washington expressed his disagreement with a three-year sentence and said that Zhao was never aware of any criminal activity.

The former CEO “deeply regrets his offense” and has shown that he has taken responsibility, according to Zhao’s attorneys, who urged the court to impose a probationary term.

According to his legal team, he has dedicated his life to three things: his family, developing technology (and Binance in particular) to be a constructive force for change, and serving the broader good. Moreover, the team mentioned that Mr. Zhao is a first-time offender who is 47 years old.

Zhao’s lawyer, William Burck, has said that, due to his fame, fortune, and cooperation with the government, his client faces threats in certain security facilities.

In November, Zhao entered a guilty plea and agreed to pay a $50 million fine in the United States for failing to establish an effective anti-money laundering program. Moreover, as part of one of the biggest business settlements ever, Binance agreed to pay $4.3 billion. 

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