Binance CEO 'CZ' sentenced to four months in prison

Changpeng Zhao, also known as “CZ,” the founder and CEO of crypto exchange Binance, has been sentenced to four months in prison.

Six days ago, the US Department of Justice had recommended that Zhao be given a 36-month prison sentence, which would have been “well above the possible 18 months laid out in his plea agreement,” according to Coindesk.

Last November, Zhao stepped down from his leadership role and pleaded guilty to a number of violations brought on through the Department of Justice and other U.S. agencies.

At the time, Binance admitted it had “engaged in anti-money laundering, unlicensed money transmitting and sanctions violations,” the DOJ stated, calling it the “largest corporate resolution” that included criminal charges for an executive. Zhao had pleaded guilty to failing to maintain an anti-money laundering program.

Binance, Zhao and other related parties “knowingly failed to register as a money services business” and violated the Bank Secrecy Act by failing to implement an anti-money laundering program, a filing on the charges stated. It added that the respective parties allegedly violated U.S. economic sanctions “in a deliberate and calculated effort to profit from the U.S. market,” without following U.S. laws.

Binance launched in June 2017 and within 180 days became the largest crypto exchange in the world. It had over $22.7 billion in trading volume during the past 24-hours, significantly higher than $3.1 billion in trading volume from the second largest crypto exchange, Coinbase, according to CoinMarketCap data.