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Binance Founder Changpeng Zhao Apologizes, DOJ Pushes For 3-Year Sentence

Published 24/04/2024, 12:49
© Reuters.  Binance Founder Changpeng Zhao Apologizes, DOJ Pushes For 3-Year Sentence
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Benzinga - by Murtuza Merchant, Benzinga Staff Writer.

Changpeng Zhao, the founder and former CEO of Binance (CRYPTO: BNB), is facing a potential prison sentence of three years after the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) argued for his incarceration in a recent sentencing memo.

DOJ Seeks Imprisonment, Citing National Security Concerns

The DOJ is pushing for a harsher sentence than the 18 months stipulated in Zhao’s plea agreement, citing the “massive scope and ramifications” of his misconduct, Coindesk reported.

They argue that Binance, under Zhao’s leadership, facilitated transactions involving illicit activities like ransomware attacks and darknet markets.

This, the DOJ claims, posed a threat to U.S. national security.

Also Read: Mt. Gox Creditors See Repayment Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Defense Argues for Probation, Downplays Knowledge of Violations

Zhao’s defense team countered these accusations, stating that he lacked knowledge of specific illegal transactions and that Binance wasn’t explicitly prohibited from having users from sanctioned countries on its platform.

They further claim that the sanctions violations were “microscopically tiny” compared to Binance’s overall trading volume.

Zhao apologized for his “poor decisions,” taking responsibility for his actions as he faces sentencing on April 30th. In a letter to the judge overseeing his case, he admitted to failing to establish necessary compliance controls at Binance and expressed his desire to support biotech startups and youth in the future, Coindesk reported.

This ongoing case highlights the evolving regulatory landscape surrounding cryptocurrencies, particularly regarding money laundering and national security concerns.

Stay Informed At Benzinga’s Future Of Digital Assets Event

The rapid development of the digital asset space necessitates staying informed about regulatory changes and potential risks.

The Benzinga Future of Digital Assets event, happening on Nov. 19 offers a valuable opportunity to gain insights from industry experts.

Read Next: Crypto Lobby Group Sues SEC Over New Dealer Rule

Image: Shutterstock

© 2024 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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