Binance criminal settlement could include a $4 billion fine and CEO’s guilty plea

6 views 5:15 pm 0 Comments November 21, 2023
According to reports from The Wall Street Journal and Forbes, it is stated that Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, the owner and CEO of Binance, is reportedly planning to step down and plead guilty for alleged violations of anti-money laundering laws. This is part of the significant settlement the Department of Justice is expected to announce this afternoon, which will reportedly require Binance to fork over $4.3 billion in fines.
 

Even though Zhao can no longer assume an executive role at Binance, the WSJ reports the terms of the agreement will let Zhao keep his majority ownership of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. Zhao is expected to enter his plea at a Seattle court on Tuesday, with sentencing to come later. According to Forbes, Richard Teng, Binance’s head of regional markets, is in the running to take Zhao’s place.

The Securities and Exchange Commission first sued Binance and Zhao in June, accusing the crypto exchange of operating illegally in the US while defrauding investors. The agency also attempted to freeze Binance’s assets over claims the business engaged in “violative conduct” in “disregard of the laws of the United States.” Binance ultimately avoided the freeze by implementing restrictions that prevented Binance and Zhao from accessing customer funds, among other things.

While the DOJ still hasn’t confirmed the settlement terms, the agency has announced a press conference at 3 PM ET to “announce separate but related cryptocurrency enforcement actions.” Binance is just one of the crypto empires the SEC has targeted following the collapse of FTX, as Coinbase is also facing a lawsuit.