Seattle Court Approves Guilty Plea of Ex-Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao
Seattle Judge Richard Jones accepted a guilty plea from former Binance CEO CZ, concluding a years-long anti-money laundering investigation.
The court filing in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington in Seattle confirmed Zhao’s guilty plea. This plea comes as a significant development in the ongoing federal investigations into Binance’s operations.
Zhao, commonly known as CZ, admitted to anti-money laundering and sanctions violations, following extensive investigations by federal regulators. As a result, Binance agreed to a $4.3 billion settlement, one of the largest in corporate history. Additionally, Zhao personally agreed to a $50 million fine and resigned as CEO of Binance.
Zhao’s Transition from Binance Leadership to Personal Economic Interest
Zhao’s resignation extends beyond his CEO role; he also stepped down as chairman of Binance.US’s board of directors. This move effectively limits his role in Binance.US to a purely economic interest, distancing him from the company’s governance.
Following his resignation and guilty plea, Zhao has been active on X (formerly Twitter). His posts range from personal anecdotes to reflections on his professional journey, including reposting updates from the new Binance CEO, Richard Teng.
In one of his posts, Zhao shared insights about his decision to invest in Bitcoin ten years ago, emphasizing the importance of understanding one’s risk profile and the value of risk management.
The guilty plea and subsequent settlement signal a new chapter for Binance, as the company navigates its future without Zhao in a leadership role. The settlement also highlights the increased scrutiny and regulatory pressure faced by major players in the cryptocurrency industry.
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