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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Binance Founder Zhao Could Receive 3-Year Jail Sentence in US Case

According to U.S. prosecutors, Changpeng Zhao, the founder of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, should be sentenced to 36 months in prison. This follows his guilty plea for violating anti-money laundering laws.

Zhao is scheduled for sentencing on April 30 in Seattle. He resigned as Binance’s chief last November after admitting to the violations alongside the exchange. Binance also agreed to pay a hefty penalty of $4.32 billion as part of the resolution.

“Given the magnitude of Zhao’s willful violation of U.S. law and its consequences, an above-guidelines sentence of 36 months is warranted,” U.S. prosecutors told the U.S. district court for the western district of Washington.

Federal sentencing guidelines set a maximum sentence of 18 months in prison for Zhao, who had agreed not to appeal against any stretch up to that length. He has been free in the United States on a $175-million bond.

U.S. authorities have said Binance failed to report more than 100,000 suspicious transactions with designated terrorist groups including Hamas, al Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.

Prosecutors said Binance’s platform also supported the sale of child sexual abuse materials and was a recipient of a large portion of ransomware proceeds.

Zhao, commonly known as CZ, agreed to pay $50 million and cease involvement with Binance, which he founded in 2017.

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