01 Jun

Changpeng Zhao, the ex-CEO of Binance, has started serving his four-month term in a minimum-security federal penitentiary located in Lompoc, California, as reported by CNBC.

Sentence for Binance's Founder Accompanying Guilty Plea and $50 Million Fine

In November 2023, Zhao, also going by CZ, entered a guilty plea to a charge of violating the Bank Secrecy Act by neglecting to put in place efficient anti-money laundering protocols at Binance, the biggest cryptocurrency exchange globally.

Zhao received a sentence of four months in prison in April, which is much less than the three years that federal investigators had requested. The recommendations for Binance's founder punishment recommended a 12- to 18-month prison term; however, Zhao's defense team, Latham & Watkins, had asked for five months of probation. Binance was mandated to pay $4.3 billion, while Zhao additionally consented to pay a $50 million punishment.

Zhao apologized to the U.S. before rendering his decision. District Judge Richard Jones stated, "I think acknowledging one's own mistakes is the first step towards accepting responsibility." I did not put in place a sufficient anti-money laundering policy in this case. I now understand the gravity of that error.

The Differing Viewpoints of the Two Founders

The deal to end a protracted U.S. government inquiry into Binance includes the founder of Binance's imprisonment. Zhao resigned as CEO as a result of this arrangement, but he is still a major stakeholder, owning an estimated 90% of the company.

On the other hand, Sam Bankman-Fried, the creator of FTX, did not reach a settlement with the authorities and is currently serving a 25-year sentence for his conviction on all seven counts of criminal charges linked to securities fraud, which caused his cryptocurrency exchange and hedge fund, Alameda Research, to fail. In contrast to Zhao, a number of Bankman-Fried's previous associates—Caroline Ellison among them—collaborated with reporters and voiced worries about him.

June 2024, Cryptoniteuae

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