Binance Founder Changpeng Zhao Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering Violations – The New York Times

Changpeng Zhao, the founder of Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, pleaded guilty to money laundering violations, the government said on Tuesday, a stunning blow to the most powerful and influential figure in the global crypto industry.

Binance itself also pleaded guilty and agreed to pay $4.3 billion in fines and restitution to the government, according to federal authorities. Under the agreement, Binance reached settlements with the Justice Department, the Treasury Department and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which have all been investigating the company for years.

As part of his guilty plea, Mr. Zhao agreed to pay a $50 million fine and step down from his role as the company’s chief executive. Mr. Zhao faces up to 18 months in prison under federal sentencing guidelines, but prosecutors are keeping open the possibility of asking for a stiffer penalty, according to senior Justice Department officials.

Source: Binance Founder Changpeng Zhao Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering Violations – The New York Times