Binance Founder Pleads Guilty To Money Laundering Violations, To Pay US$50 Mil Fine

Binance Founder Pleads Guilty To Money Laundering Violations, To Pay US$50 Mil Fine

Changpeng Zhao, the founder of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has recently pleaded guilty to money laundering violations. This report was carried in the New York Times and other international news dailies earlier today. This is a massive blow to arguably one of the most influential people in the crypto industry.

Binance itself has also pleaded guilty and has agreed to pay up to US$4.3 billion in fines and restitution to the US government. Under the agreement, Binance reached settlements with the Justice Department, the Treasury Department and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. These departments have all been investigating the company for years.

Zhao has also agreed to pay up to US$50 million in fines and step down from his role as the company’s chief executive as part of his guilty plea. His transgressions could warrant him up to 18 months in prison under federal sentencing guidelines. However, prosecutors are keeping open the possibility of even more severe penalties, according to senior Justice Department officials.

Zhao cannot have any involvement in Binance

As part of its own plea deal, Binance will be accepting the appointment of a government monitor to oversee the business. Zhao is also required to not have any involvement whatsoever in Binance  until three years after the appointment of the monitor.

These guilty pleas are a monumental part of cryptocurrency’s history. At a certain point in time, Binance has processed two-thirds of all digital currency trades, making it a key pillar of the cryptocurrency ecosystem as an intermediary and broker.

This news is being viewed as a one-two punch from the US Justice Department, coming after the massive conviction of disgraced crypto mogul, Sam Bankman-Fried, who was convicted of fraud at a criminal trial arising from the collapse of his FTX crypto exchange.

The spectacular implosion of FTX had given US federal authorities cause to step up efforts to monitor and crackdown on the cryptocurrency market.

Get free weekly money tips!

*Free of charge. Unsubscribe anytime.