Binance founder Changpeng Zhao sentenced to 4 months in prison

Changpeng Zhao, the founder of industry-leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance, has been sentenced to prison for four months.

This sentence follows his early guilty plea for charges related to violations of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). Binance additionally agreed to a deferred prosecution agreement related to its failure to register as a money services business (MSB) and failure to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program.

Zhao’s personal testimony at the hearing emphasized his sorrow for his actions and involved him taking responsibility for his mistakes while he led Binance. He also mentioned that his current focus is a ‘platform for online education for underprivileged kids.’

The four-month sentence is less than the three years recommended by prosecutors in their sentencing memo and more than the no jail time recommended by Zhao’s defense. 

Changpeng Zhao’s sentencing is also significantly less than the recent 25-year sentence handed down to FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried. Bankman-Fried did not plead and was convicted on multiple felony charges, including wire fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud, and money laundering. 

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