The U.S. federal court recently approved the guilty plea of Changpeng Zhao, the founder of Binance. With CZ’s sentencing scheduled for February 2024, the case draws attention to the legal and regulatory challenges facing leaders in the cryptocurrency industry.
CZ’s plea accepted
U.S. federal judge has validated the guilty plea between Changpeng Zhao, founder of Binance, and the U.S. government. This approval, given by Judge Richard Jones of the U.S. District Court in Seattle on December 6, 2023, is an important step in this high-profile case.
The agreement, finalized on November 21, 2023, came after Binance was charged with failing to register as a money services business and violating the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). As a result, Binance agreed to pay a substantial fine of $4.3 billion. CZ admitted its responsibility for breaching the BSA, and U.S. prosecutors demanded that it remain in the U.S. until sentenced.
Following this agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), CZ relinquished his position as CEO at Binance, leaving Richard Teng in charge. Binance is now under strict surveillance by the country’s federal authorities.
Currently out on $175 million bail, CZ is barred from returning to his home in the United Arab Emirates. The former Binance executive faces a prison sentence of up to 18 months.
The US court’s approval of the guilty plea of Changpeng Zhao, aka CZ, marks a decisive shift in cryptocurrency regulation. With sentencing scheduled for February 2024, the ruling comes at a crucial time when the sector is undergoing intensified regulation in the US.
Regulators are redoubling their scrutiny and vigilance over a market that has long operated in a degree of legal ambiguity. This step therefore represents a significant change in the way the authorities approach and frame the cryptocurrency universe.