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Binance Founder Changpeng Zhao Jailed for Money Laundering



Changpeng Zhao, the founder of the cryptocurrency firm Binance, has been sentenced to four months in a US prison after pleading guilty to money laundering charges. This case is considered the most significant in the cryptocurrency world since another high-profile figure, Sam Bankman-Fried, was sentenced earlier. Zhao, a Canadian citizen, stepped down from his role at Binance last year following a deal with US authorities.

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Prosecutors initially sought a three-year prison term for Zhao, arguing that his actions were deliberate violations of US law to benefit his business. However, Zhao’s lawyers argued that probation was sufficient, citing his cooperation and philanthropic efforts.

“He made a business decision that violating US law was the best way to attract users, build his company, and line his pockets,” said Justice Department lawyers.

Binance’s Troubles and Compliance Efforts
Founded in 2017, Binance grew rapidly to dominate the cryptocurrency trading market. However, it has faced various challenges, including regulatory scrutiny and the broader crypto market crash. Despite these setbacks, recent months have seen a resurgence in the industry, partly due to US regulators approving Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Zhao admitted his mistakes in a statement last November, emphasizing his acceptance of responsibility.

“I made mistakes, and I must take responsibility,” he declared.

Meanwhile, Binance’s new CEO, Richard Teng, emphasized the company’s commitment to compliance, spending millions on regulatory measures and cooperating closely with authorities.

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