The details of the agreement made by the cryptocurrency exchange Binance and its CEO Changpeng Zhao with the US Department of Justice continue to be clear. However, with current information, it is thought that Zhao will not go to prison.
Here are all the terms of the deal that Binance and its former CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) agreed to with the US Department of Justice (DOJ):
Changpeng Zhao Plea of Guilt Agreement:
- Zhao will plead guilty to violating the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and other relevant laws.
- CZ agreed to a $50 million fine, which will be offset against payments made to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) if paid by the penalty date.
- Zhao was barred from making any public statements that contradicted his guilty plea or the facts established in the case.
Binance Adoption Agreement:
- Binance will plead guilty to operating an unlicensed money transmission business, violating the BSA, and engaging in prohibited transactions with Iran.
- Binance will acknowledge the facts stated in the plea agreement and commit to fully cooperate with the government.
- Zhao resigned as CEO of Binance, and the company banned him from future participation in its operations for three years from the date of appointment of a monitor.
- Binance should improve its compliance program and appoint an independent monitor for three years.
- At the end of the plea agreement, Binance’s CEO and chief compliance officer must certify compliance with the terms of the plea agreement.
- Binance agrees to a fine of approximately $1.805 billion, reflecting a reduction for partial cooperation, to be paid within 15 months of sentencing.
- Binance will also pay a fine of approximately $2.51 billion, some related to transactions with US users and some related to transactions with Iran, and this amount will be paid within certain post-judgment time periods.
- Binance, like Zhao, will not be able to make public statements that contradict their admission of responsibility or the facts disclosed in the relevant plea agreements.