Changpeng Zhao, the founder of Binance, pleaded guilty to violating criminal anti-money-laundering guidelines and agreed to a significant settlement with federal authorities. This action comes as a major setback for Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, leading to a $4.3 billion fine — one of the largest ever levied against a corporation. Zhao himself faces up to 18 months in prison for violating the Bank Secrecy Act, along with a $50 million fine and a three-year prohibition from working with the exchange. He also agreed to step down as the chief executive of Binance, to be replaced by Richard Teng, the company’s global head of regional markets.
To summarize the key points of this case:
- Changpeng Zhao and Binance pleaded guilty to violating criminal anti-money-laundering guidelines, leading to a $4.3 billion fine for the company, one of the largest ever levied against a corporation.
- Zhao agreed to step down as CEO as part of the plea agreement, which also includes him facing up to 18 months in prison for violating the Bank Secrecy Act, a $50 million fine, and a bar from working with the exchange for three years.
- The guilty plea was the result of a three-year investigation by the Justice Department, focusing on Binance’s failure to comply with the Bank Secrecy Act, its unregistered money-transfer business operations, and violations of sanctions law.
- The investigation highlighted Binance’s lack of anti-money laundering measures, allowing nearly $900 million in transactions that violated sanctions against Iran, and its efforts to evade U.S. regulatory oversight.
- Zhao’s resignation and the guilty plea were framed as taking responsibility for these issues, aiming to prioritize the community, Binance, and his personal accountability.
The post Binance chief Changpeng Zhao (CZ) admits to violating U.S. laws, pleads guilty, resigns as CEO of Binance and Why can’t he leave the USA. first appeared on BTC Wires.
This article was originally reported on BTC Wires.