Binance Founder Changpeng Zhao Gets 4-Month Prison Sentence

In Nov. 2023, the executive pleaded guilty to violating the Bank Secrecy Act.

By: Pedro Solimano Loading...

silhouette of the executive, bars, and a gavel, all glowing in neon colors

Binance founder Changpeng Zhao (CZ) was sentenced today by a Seattle court to four months in jail for violating the Bank Secrecy Act.

The four-month sentence is well below the 36 months requested by the Department of Justice – alleging the “scope and ramifications of Zhao’s conduct were massive” – and the 18 months laid out in Zhao’s previous plea agreement.

Binance’s native token, BNB, dropped 3.4% to $569. Today’s decline appears to be attributable to general market volatility, and not related to the sentencing.

BNB Price chart
BNB Price

Seattle federal judge Richard Jones also slapped CZ with a $50 million fine. The former Binance CEO's wealth is estimated a $33 billion.

Zhao’s company, Binance, is the largest crypto exchange in the world, processing $21 billion in 24-hour volume. He was forced to step down when the firm had to pay a $4.3 billion fine last year to the U.S. government for violating anti-money laundering laws.

The founder’s personal testimony in court expressed remorse for his involvement in “his mistakes” while he led Binance.

CZ’s sentence follows those of Sam Bankman-Fried and Do Kwon, marking yet another incarceration for some of crypto’s most influential figures.