Binance Founder Changpeng Zhao Begins Prison Sentence in California

Joshua Ramos
Source – Bitcoin Sistemi

Binance founder and former CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) has officially begun his prison sentence in California. Indeed, the former head of the leading cryptocurrency exchange has reported for the beginning of his fourth-month detention at a federal prison in the city of Lompoc.

Zhao was sentenced in April after pleading guilty to money laundering charges at Binance. Under Zhao’s leadership, the exchange was faced with a $4 billion penalty from the US Department of Justice for its anti-money laundering, sanctions, and unlicensed money-transmitting violations.

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Ex-Binance CEO Begins Four-Month Prison Sentence

Binance was once atop the entire digital asset market and was among the most reverent and successful entities in the industry. However, its perception among the public took a hit in late 2023, when it was served with a massive fine for operations violations in the United States.

That ultimately led to the conviction and sentencing of its former CEO. Binance’s founder, Changpeng Zhao, has officially begun his four-month prison sentence in Lompoc, California. Moreover, the sentence followed Zhao’s guilty plea but was substantially less than expected.

Source: NBC

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Federal prosecutors had sought out a three-year prison term for the Binance executive. Furthermore, Zhao was facing sentencing guidelines that requested a year to 18 months in prison. Conversely, CZ had admitted his mistakes in front of US District Judge Richard Jones at his sentencing in April.

Ultimately, Zhao’s guilty plea and the $4 billion fine were part of a deal between CZ and the US government. The resolution came after a years-long investigation into the exchange. CZ’s resignation from the company was also part of the agreement’s terms. Zhao still maintains a 90% stake in Binance, although he has no role in the company’s operations.