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US Court Jails Binance Founder, Changpeng Zhao

A United States, US, District court, on Tuesday, sentenced the founder and former Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao to four months in prison.

The court judge, Richard Jones said Zhao, whose nickname is CZ, has also satisfied the requirement of him to pay $50 million in fines.

The judge also won’t impose five months of probation as was recommended by the probation officer, Mail Online reports.

In November 2023, Zhao pleaded guilty to a money laundering charge.

The 47-year-old admitted to violating the Bank Secrecy Act by willfully failing to set up an effective anti-money laundering system at Binance, the cryptocurrency exchange he founded and ran as CEO from July 2017 to November 2023.

Binance also pleaded guilty to similar charges from the US Department of Justice in November 2023 and was forced to pay $4.3 billion in fines and restitution for failing to register as a money transmitting business, Forbes reported.

U.S. prosecutors had urged the court to sentence Zhao to three years in prison after he pleaded guilty to violating laws against money laundering.

They argued that sentencing Zhao to twice the maximum 18 months recommended under federal guidelines would reflect the magnitude of his willful violations, and send a message that would deter others.

In March, a U.S. district court had ordered that Zhao must surrender his Canadian passport and notify the court before travelling within the country.

This came after U.S. District Judge, Honorable Richard A. Jones restricted his bond conditions.

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