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Court Sends Binance Founder To Prison For Four Months

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Binance Founder CZ Resigns As CEO Amid $4 Billion Settlement With U.S. Authorities

The founder of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange platform, Changpeng Zhao, has been sentenced to four months in prison in the United States (US) after pleading guilty to money laundering charges.

Naija News reports that as part of a deal with US authorities, Zhao resigned from his post late last year.

Investigations revealed that Binance failed to prevent transactions by terrorist groups, including the Islamic State and al-Qaeda, leading to a $4.3 billion settlement in February.

Prosecutors sought a three-year sentence, but Zhao’s attorneys argued for probation, citing his acceptance of responsibility and philanthropic record.

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“He made a business decision that violating US law was the best way to attract users, build his company, and line his pockets,” Justice Department lawyers said of Zhao in a sentencing memorandum.

“The sentence in this case will not just send a message to Zhao but also to the world.”

Zhao admitted to making mistakes and taking responsibility in a November post.

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“I made mistakes, and I must take responsibility,” Zhao, who lives in the United Arab Emirates, said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

Binance was created in 2017 and became a leading crypto-trading platform, but faced scrutiny after crypto markets collapsed and regulators probed its legality.

The industry has recently rebounded, thanks to US regulators approving bitcoin exchange-traded funds.

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Binance’s new CEO, Richard Teng, said the company spent hundreds of millions on compliance and is working closely with regulators.

Zhao’s sentence marks a significant moment in the crypto industry’s regulatory landscape.

George Oshogwe Ogbolu is a Digital Media Strategist | Content Writer | Journalist | New Media Influencer | Proofreader and Editor at Naija News.