Binance founder Changpeng Zhao sentenced to 4 months in prison

The founder of the Binance cryptocurrency exchange, Changpeng Zhao, was sentenced to four months in prison.

On April 30, Zhao appeared in court for sentencing. Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutors wanted him to spend three years behind bars, but his defense insisted on no prison time.

Judge Richard Jones disagreed with the Justice Department’s request to increase Zhao’s sentence. He said there was no evidence that the Binance founder was ever informed of the specific illegal activity occurring on the exchange. The judge again rejected the DOJ’s request to sentence Zhao to 36 months.

The judge thanked the prosecution for their voluminous report and forecasted a possible sentence. In many respects, Jones said he agreed with the prosecution’s opinion.

Last November, Zhao and the Binance exchange pleaded guilty to violating U.S. anti-money laundering and sanctions regulations. As part of a sweeping settlement with the government that allows the cryptocurrency exchange to continue operating, Zhao agreed to step down as the exchange’s CEO and pay a fine of $50 million and that Binance would owe $4.3 billion.

The founder of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange agreed to post bail of $175 million to remain free until sentencing. In November 2023, U.S. prosecutors requested that Zhao be banned from leaving the country pending trial. According to prosecutors, the former head of Binance can sacrifice his collateral and live comfortably for the rest of his days.

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