Binance Founder CZ’s First Words After Receiving 4-Month Prison Sentence

Binance founder and former CEO – Changpeng Zhao a.k.a CZ – received a four-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to violating US anti-money laundering laws at the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange.

In the first tweet following the sentencing, CZ revealed his intention to remain a passive investor and holder in the crypto industry while simultaneously highlighting the importance of compliance in the industry.

CZ Reacts

In his final tweet before beginning his four-month prison sentence, CZ expressed gratitude to his supporters, acknowledging the letters, messages, and various forms of encouragement he received.

He even went on to emphasize the importance of their support in keeping him resilient during this period.

“I will do my time, conclude this phase, and focus on the next chapter of my life (education). I will remain a passive investor (and holder) in crypto. Our industry has entered a new phase. Compliance is super important. A silver lining of this whole process is that Binance has been under the microscope. And funds are SAFU. Protect users!”

CZ resigned as Binance’s chief executive officer last November after admitting that he and the exchange he founded in 2017 had failed to comply with anti-money laundering regulations outlined in the Bank Secrecy Act.

The Sentencing

Once regarded as one of the most influential figures in the industry, CZ became the second prominent crypto leader after FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) to face imprisonment.

The sentence was significantly lower than the three years sought by prosecutors and marked the first instance of a CEO being imprisoned for violating the Bank Secrecy Act, a charge frequently used in recent crypto prosecutions.

Prior to his sentencing, CZ expressed his remorse to US District Judge Richard Jones, acknowledging his failure to implement an effective anti-money laundering program. He stated,

“I believe the first step of taking responsibility is to fully recognize the mistakes. Here I failed to implement an adequate anti-money laundering program. I realize now the seriousness of that mistake.”

CZ chose to surrender voluntarily to serve his sentence, which will likely be at a detention center near Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Additionally, Binance agreed to a $4.32 billion penalty, while CZ paid a $50 million criminal fine and an additional $50 million to the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

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