Biggest Crypto Exchange Binance Founder Changpeng Zhao Sentenced to Four Months in Prison

| Updated on 3 May 2024

Binance founder and former CEO Changpeng Zhao was sentenced to four months in prison when pleaded guilty to money laundering violations as part of Binance’s agreement with the United States of Justice. This prison sentence will allow the company to settle the legal battle and continue operating under a new CEO. 

On Tuesday, Zhao was sentenced by District Judge Richard Jones in Seattle. This sentence was far below the three years requested by the prosecutors, who sought to make an example of Zhao. 

The crypto industry has seen its fair share of scams and scandals in the past few years. The biggest one was FTX when approximately $10 billion dollars went missing. Later, FTX filed for bankruptcy and the founder was jailed for 25 years. 

However, it is the first time that a CEO has ever gone to jail for a bank secrecy act violation. The Bank Secrecy Act has often been used in crypto-related prosecutions in recent years. 

The Judge, Richard Jones said when imposing the sentence, that he hoped Zhao understood that, despite “wealth, power and status” no person is above the law. 

The date for Zhao to turn himself in prison has not been set, he expressed his desire to get back to his family back in UAE. 

Zhao pleaded guilty to failing to implement an adequate money laundering program at Binance. Binance pleaded guilty to anti-money laundering and sanctions law violations and agreed to pay $4.3 billion to resolve investigations with the US regulators and Justice Department.

Gaurav Pal

Tech Journalist

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