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Changpeng Zhao Faces 18 Months in Jail: Prosecutors Say “Accept the Deal”

2 mins
Updated by Ali M.
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In Brief

  • Changpeng Zhao faces up to 18 months in jail, signaling a major shift in US cryptocurrency regulation.
  • US prosecutors advocate for a significant $4.3 billion penalty against Binance for sanction violations.
  • The plea deal includes a hefty fine and up to five years of monitoring to ensure legal compliance.
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Changpeng Zhao, once at the helm of Binance, is on the verge of receiving a sentence that could dramatically shift the United States approach to crypto regulation and compliance.

Facing up to 18 months behind bars, Zhao’s case highlights a significant shift in the industry’s approach to tackling financial misconduct.

Prosecutors Tell Court to “Accept the Deal”

US prosecutors have emphasized the gravity of Binance’s infractions. Indeed, they highlighted the company’s deliberate breach of the nation’s economic sanctions laws. This violation has attracted one of the largest criminal penalties in US history, amounting to $4.3 billion. It also exposed the financial system to exploitation by malicious entities.

The plea deal awaits approval by a federal judge in Seattle and reflects the serious nature of Binance’s misconduct.

“In sum, given the nature and seriousness of Binance’s misconduct — it was intentional and led by senior executives, with hundreds of millions of dollars of collateral consequences,” prosecutors wrote.

The company’s intentional disregard for regulatory compliance led by Zhao has had far-reaching consequences. It essentially jeopardizes the integrity of the US financial system.

Indeed, Binance’s failure to register as a money services business and its inadequate anti-money laundering program made it susceptible to exploitation by groups seeking to undermine US financial security. The admission was that transactions with designated terrorist organizations, including Hamas, were allowed on the platform.

Read more: 7 Best Binance Alternatives in 2024

The plea deal stipulates a hefty financial penalty and mandates up to five years of company monitoring. The goal is to ensure adherence to legal standards.

The crypto community watches closely as Changpeng Zhao prepares for sentencing in April. Per the plea deal, the expectation of a sentence capped at 18 months offers a glimpse into the potential outcomes of neglecting legal responsibilities in the cryptocurrency market.

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Bary Rahma
Bary Rahman, a talented journalist, graduated from New York University with a degree in Journalism. Skilled in SEO, she has worked with CNN, showcasing her investigative skills and storytelling abilities. In addition to her journalistic accomplishments, Bary has contributed her expertise as a content writer for Binance, crafting insightful articles on the dynamic crypto industry. Her unique fusion of journalism and SEO makes her a versatile and highly respected figure in the industry.