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DOJ Wants Changpeng Zhao Sentenced for 3 Years

Crypto | April 24, 2024

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U.S. Federal Prosecutors Want Changpeng Zhao Sentenced to 3 Years (Double the Guideline)

The founder of Binance, Changpeng Zhao (CZ) is scheduled to be sentenced on April 30 for pleading guilty to a raft of violations under the Bank Secrecy Act.  Per the federal guidelines, it was expected that CZ was facing up to 18 months of prison time (or more).  Yesterday April 24, 2024 prosecutors filed a memo recommending that CZ be sentenced to 3 years in jail and pay a $50 million fine.

See:  Changpeng Zhao Launches Educational Platform Giggle Academy

  • Federal prosecutors are advocating for double the 'high end' of the sentencing guidelines suggesting that it’s essential to not only hold him accountable for the wide range of charges including non-compliance of anti-money laundering laws but also to deter global crypto leaders and send the message that there will be severe consequences for abusing U.S. financial regulations for personal and corporate gain.
  • Zhao has garnered substantial support through over 160 letters from various stakeholders, including industry leaders and academics, calling for leniency in his sentencing. These letters emphasize his prior contributions to the tech and financial sectors and his philanthropic endeavors.
  • Documents reveal that Binance processed transactions worth trillions and violated multiple U.S. regulations, affecting national security interests. The proceedings have led to Zhao facing a longer sentence than the 18 months originally agreed upon in his plea deal.
  • Adding to Binance’s legal woes, another executive, Tigran Gambaryan, is currently detained in Nigeria, facing charges of tax evasion and fraud. This situation highlights broader regulatory challenges and legal risks facing company leaders globally.

See:  Canadian Investors Lead Class Action Against Binance Canada

"A custodial sentence of 36 months — twice the high end of the Guidelines range — would reflect the seriousness of the offense, promote respect for law, afford adequate deterrence, and be sufficient but not greater than necessary to achieve the goals of sentencing,"  - U.S. Prosecutors

In Closing

The global fintech community will be watching closely, as the outcomes could set significant precedents for the treatment of legal infractions in the sector.

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