Changpeng Zhao Faces 3-Years in Prison

Changpeng Zhao Faces 3-Years in Prison

Good day everybody,

Welcome to CryptoGod-1's blog on all things crypto. Today I will be looking at the recent news of U.S. prosecutors seeking a 3-year prison sentence for Binance founder and former CEO Changpeng Zhao.



Changpeng Zhao

On Tuesday the 23rd of April 2024 the United States Department of Justice prosecutors made a court filing where they stated their desire for the Changpeng Zhao (CZ), the former CEO and founder of Binance, to receive three years behind bars. Sentencing is scheduled on the 30th of April in Seattle for CZ, and he has previous pleaded guilty to breaching US anti-money laundering laws back in November 2023.

CZ stepped down from his role as CEO at Binance back in 2023 but he retains majority ownership in the business. His agreement saw him receive a $50m fine, while the company offered to pay $4.3b in fines and compensation. U.S. prosecutors noted:


“Given the magnitude of Zhao’s willful violation of US law and its consequences, an above-Guidelines sentence of 36 months is warranted,”


Back in November 2023 an 18-month maximum sentence was stipulated, which he had accepted without appeal. Back then CZ was released on a $175m bail while awaiting sentencing for banking law breaches. Prosecutors are now pushing for a more severe punishment and penalty which would fall within the recommendations of the U.S. federal sentencing guidelines.

The DOJ’s filing stressed the gravity and extent of Zhao’s misconduct and how the recommended sentence would serve as a powerful deterrent to others. Part of the U.S. prosecutors filing noted:


“Zhao reaped vast rewards for his violation of US law. And the price of that violation must be significant to effectively punish Zhao for his criminal acts and to deter others who are tempted to build fortunes and business empires by breaking US law.”


The prosecutors went on to claim that CZ failed to establish any robust anti-money laundering (AML) program at Binance which allowed illicit actors to exploit the exchange. These bad actors apparently made use of Binance for activities such as operating mixing services to conceal crypto origins. Binance is also accused of allowing Iranian customers’ transactions with US customers, which is in direct violation of United States sanctions against Iran.

The sentencing hearing for CZ was initially scheduled for late February but was pushed back until the 30th of April. CZ has been forced to adhere to travel restrictions meaning he has been unable to return to Dubai where his family reside. Despite facing legal obstacles, Zhao’s fortune has experienced significant growth over the past year, surging by nearly $10b according to Bloomberg. According to the index his wealth exceeds $42b, making him the 29th wealthiest individual worldwide.




Have a great day.

Peace. CryptoGod-1.


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