Ex-CEO of Binance will spend four months in prison

Changpeng Zhao will be the world’s wealthiest inmate to ever serve a sentence, keeping all billions for himself.

The founder and former CEO of Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, will spend four months in an American prison for violation of U.S. banking and anti-money laundering laws and failing to secure investors’ interests. 

In particular, Binance failed to report more than 100,000 suspicious transactions to law enforcement agencies, including those involving U.S.-designated terror groups such as al-Qaida, Islamic State and Hamas. Prosecutors demanded for Zhao minimum three years in prison but the Seattle court led by District Judge Richard Jones reduced the sentence on Tuesday to just a few months. 

In November 2023, Changpeng Zhao, 47, pleaded guilty and apologized for his conduct, agreeing to step down from Binance leadership and pay a whooping $4.3 billion in fines from the company and $50 million from his own pocket.

While in prison, he will keep intact his $43 billion fortune and walk out of it even richer as the platform continues making cash.

With his personal ownership over Binance still valid, friends on the company board and the mother of his children helping run the business, his battle may be considered a victory over the US judicial system, which in the case with FTX has simply torn to pieces the rival exchange and locked his fellow billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried for 25 years.

The location where Zhao will serve his prison term was not revealed. The day his sentence commences will be announced later.  

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