News - Claim: Binance founder Changpeng Zhao must serve 3 years in prison

By Ted Maas

Claim: Binance founder Changpeng Zhao must serve 3 years in prison

Binance Coin (BNB)
Scams, crime and fraud

Binance founder Changpeng Zhao has received a three-year prison sentence for his crimes. However, the defense is requesting probation. This the US Department of Justice (DOJ) demanded yesterday, April 23, in an indictment.

In addition, CZ must pay a US$50 million fine for violating the Money Laundering Act. The defense argues in a recently filed letter that "no defendant in a similar case has ever been sentenced to prison". Instead, the defense is demanding a suspended sentence with house arrest in Abu Dhabi for Zhao.

Zhao pleaded guilty in November 2023 to failing to develop an effective anti-money laundering program at Binance. As part of this plea, he resigned as CEO. Richard Teng replaced Zhao as CEO of the crypto exchange. The proceedings against Changpeng Zhao are also part of the deal. The maximum penalty is 10 years in prison.

In December, Zhao wanted to travel to the United Arab Emirates, at least temporarily. He offered to deposit his Binance capital as security for his return. The handling judge, Mr. Jones, denied the request.

In February, the prosecution then demanded that his passport be revoked - because of the risk of absconding. In addition to Canadian citizenship, Zhao also holds UAE citizenship. Because the UAE does not have an extradition treaty with the US, the government cannot guarantee his return, according to the prosecution.

Changpeng Zhao was originally scheduled to be sentenced in late February. The sentencing was postponed until April 30. It remains to be seen if and how severe the prison sentence will be.

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