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Binance Reaches $4.3 Billion Settlement with US DOJ, CEO CZ Steps Down

Binance Reaches $4.3 Billion Settlement with US DOJ, CEO CZ Steps Down

Key Takeaways

  • Binance and CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao has settled with US authorities for $4.3 billion, resolving criminal and civil cases.
  • Changpeng Zhao pleaded guilty to a felony charge and announced his resignation as CEO of Binance.
  • The settlement involves significant financial penalties and resolves most investigations into Binance while the SEC case is still pending.

The United States Department of Justice has reached a significant settlement with Binance, one of the world's leading cryptocurrency exchanges.

The settlement, amounting to $4.3 billion, resolves various criminal and civil cases against the crypto exchange and its CEO, Changpeng "CZ" Zhao. As part of the agreement, CZ has pled guilty to a felony charge and announced his decision to step down as CEO of Binance.

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In a press conference held on November 21st, Attorney General Merrick Garland revealed that CZ entered his plea in a US federal court despite residing outside the country.

The comprehensive settlement also addresses "civil regulatory enforcement actions" by the US Treasury and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Garland highlighted Binance's failure to comply with US federal laws, citing the crypto exchange's role in facilitating the movement of illicit funds by criminals. He stated:

Binance prioritized its profits over the safety of the American people. Using new technology to break the law does not make you a disruptor — it makes you a criminal.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen outlined the financial components of the settlement. Binance will pay over $3.4B in penalties to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and approximately $1B to the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control.

Additionally, Rostin Behnam, Chair of the CFTC, announced that Binance would pay $2.7B in civil monetary penalties and disgorgement, with CZ contributing $150M and former compliance chief Samuel Lin paying $1.5M. The Justice Department will credit around $1.8B towards these resolutions.

In response to the settlement, Binance expressed its satisfaction in a blog post dated November 21st, emphasizing its commitment to user security and safety. CZ, reflecting on his departure from CEO and the recent developments, remarked:

I made mistakes, and I must take responsibility. This is best for our community, for Binance, and for myself.

He also pointed out that the indictment did not accuse Binance of misappropriating user funds or engaging in market manipulation.

The indictment against CZ, filed under seal on November 14th, charged him with failing to maintain an effective Anti-Money Laundering program at Binance, thereby violating the Bank Secrecy Act. The charges and settlement bring to a close several civil and criminal investigations into Binance, though a civil case with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, alleging securities law violations, remains pending.

Gile K., Market Sentiment Analyst
Gile is a Market Sentiment Analyst who understands what public events may form what emotions. Her experience researching Web3 news and public market messages – including cryptocurrency news reports, PRs, and social network streams – is critical to her role in helping lead the Crypto News Editorial Team.
As an intelligent professional in public relations, together with the team, she aims to determine real VS fake news patterns, and bring her findings to anyone searching for unbiased news and events happening in the FinTech markets. Her expertise is uncovering the latest trustworthy & informative Web3 announcements to the masses.
When she's not researching the trustworthiness of mainstream stories, she spends time enjoying her terrace view and taking meticulous care of her outdoor environment.

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