Binance Settles Criminal Charges for $4.3 Billion, CZ Zhao Steps Down as CEO

Binance Settles Criminal Charges for $4.3 Billion, CZ Zhao Steps Down as CEO

Binance has been charged with criminal offenses related to violating sanctions and money-transmitting laws. As part of the settlement, Binance has agreed to pay $4.3 billion to resolve the allegations. Additionally, CZ Zhao, the CEO of Binance, has pleaded guilty to the charges against him and will pay a $50 million fine. He has also agreed to step down from his position as CEO. Richard Teng, a former Abu Dhabi regulator and later Binance's regional markets head, will assume the role of CEO.

According to a court filing unsealed on Tuesday, Binance was accused of several violations, including the failure to maintain an adequate anti-money laundering program, operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business, and violating sanctions laws.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, Binance will be required to appoint an independent compliance monitor for a period of three years. The company will also need to report its compliance efforts to the U.S. Government. CZ Zhao is prohibited from any present or future involvement in the operation or management of Binance.

As part of his agreement, CZ Zhao will pay a $175 million release bond and commit to returning to the U.S. 14 days prior to his sentencing scheduled for February 23, 2024. He has also agreed to provide the court with his residence information, and a warrant could be issued for his arrest if he fails to appear for his court date.

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