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BREAKING: Binance founder ‘CZ’ sentenced to four months in prison

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Crypto billionaire 'CZ' sentenced to four months in prison

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  • Former Binance CEO CZ will serve four months in prison for violating US Bank Secrecy Act
  • The prison sentencing was drastically reduced after a plea deal with the US DoJ

The verdict for former Binance CEO – Changpeng Zhao has been delivered today by Judge Richard Jones in Seattle court. The billionaire crypto founder, popularly known as CZ, was sentenced to four months in prison time. The sentencing is drastically less than DoJ’s anticipated prison time of at least 3 years. This could also be considered as a slip through the net compared to the sentencing handed to Sam Bankman-Fried.

The charges against him, bought by the US Department of Justice (DoJ), claimed that Zhao wilfully made several business decisions that violated US laws. The DoJ claimed that this was done to “attract users, build his company, and line his pockets.”

More importantly, the DoJ claimed that the firm had not placed adequate know-your-customer and anti-money laundering programs as required by the US laws. All of which, resulted in the crypto exchange – Binance processing illicit transactions. This included transactions related to terrorist organisations such as Al-Qaeda and Hamas.

CZ steps down from executive position

Notably, the former Binance CEO had stepped down because of the charges brought against him and his crypto exchange in Q4 of 2023. And, CZ had pleaded guilty to the charges and part of the plea deal required him to renounce his position as the head of the largest crypto exchange in the world.

Whereas, Binance had to pay a penalty of a whopping $4.3 billion. This lowered his sentencing, which usually carries upto 10 years in prison for the alleged charges.

Furthermore, prior to the hearing today, the former CEO had penned his remorse over his lack of action to the overseeing Judge. The letter stated,

“I apologise for my poor decisions and accept full responsibility for my actions. In hindsight, I should have focused on implementing compliance changes at Binance from the get-go, and I did not. There is no excuse for my failure to establish the necessary compliance controls at Binance.”

As per The Verge, in today’s hearing, the Judge declared that there was “no evidence that the defendant was ever informed”. Additionally, Judge Jones stated that the “court finds the defendant has accepted responsibility.”

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Priya is a freelance cryptocurrency writer at AMBCrypto. A student in business administration, Priya focuses on the latest developments in the cryptocurrency and blockchain technology space.
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