July 19, 2024

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Binance CEO Pleads Guilty, Agrees to Pay $50 Million Fine

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(Bloomberg) — Binance Holdings Ltd.’s Chief Executive Officer Changpeng Zhao pleaded guilty to anti-money laundering violations and agreed to pay a $50 million fine Tuesday under a sweeping deal worked out with the Justice Department designed to keep the company operating.

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Zhao agreed to step down as part of the settlement, which included the Treasury Department and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, according to people familiar with the matter. Binance agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges and pay a $4.3 billion fine, according to people familiar with the matter. The deal ends a years-long investigation into the cryptocurrency exchange.

In a charging document unsealed on Tuesday, Binance was charged with three counts, including money laundering violations, conspiracy to conduct an unlicensed money transmitting business, and US sanctions violations. Binance allowed at least 1.1 million transactions, worth more than $898 million, involving customers in Iran, according to the court filing.

The settlement negotiated between the two sides will resolve allegations of criminal wrongdoing. Bloomberg News reported the settlement on Monday.

Read More: US Is Seeking More than $4 Billion From Binance to End Case

Binance chose to “prioritize growth over compliance with US legal requirements,” allowing it to conduct billions of dollars in transactions without gathering required information on customers or monitoring transactions, the US said.

BNB, a cryptocurrency tied to the Binance ecosystem, slipped about 5% following the news. The token had hit a five-month high earlier in the day on the news that the DOJ would soon confirm its settlement with the exchange.

US Attorney General Merrick Garland and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will hold a press conference at 3:00 pm ET on Tuesday to announce more details of the settlement.

Criminal Charges

The Justice Department accused the company — as well as top executives,…

2023-11-21 14:08:27

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