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Binance founder Changpeng Zhao sentenced to four months in prison

Photo collage of Changpeng Zhao in front of a background of black stripes, justice scales, and pixelated money.
Cath Virginia / The Verge | Photos from Getty Images

Binance founder Changpeng Zhao was sentenced to four months in prison for failing to establish adequate anti-money laundering protections. Zhao, once the head of the largest crypto exchange in the world, pleaded guilty in November 2023.

Judge Richard Jones says that Zhao prioritized “Binance’s growth and profits over compliance with US laws and regulations.” While Jones doesn’t think Zhao is likely to reoffend, the scale of the crime is notable.

Though Zhao is not as well-known as FTX fraudster Sam Bankman-Fried, he is a more important figure in the crypto world. The Chinese-Canadian entrepreneur founded Binance in 2017. Though he was required to step down as CEO of the exchange as…

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