- A federal judge has approved a settlement between Binance and the CFTC.
- The settlement requires Changpeng Zhao to pay $150 million, with a third of that paid within the next 30 days.
A federal judge approved a settlement between the largest centralized crypto exchange, Binance, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), a month after Binance’s former CEO pleaded guilty to charges related to anti-money laundering violations.
Under the settlement, former CEO Changpeng Zhao will have to pay $150 million, with a third of that paid within the next 30 days, according to the order signed on Dec. 14 by Judge Manish Shah in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
Binance will have to pay a $1.35 billion penalty to the CFTC, as well as disgorge $1.35 billion of “ill-gotten transaction fees,” according to the order.
The agency said Binance, at former CEO Changpeng Zhao’s direction, solicited customers in the U.S. and was aware of regulations in the U.S. but “chose to ignore them,” according to a statement released on Monday.
The consent order also requires Binance and Zhao to guarantee that the exchange will put in place a corporate governance structure that includes a board of directors with independent members, a compliance committee and an audit committee.
Multiple federal agencies including the CFTC, Treasury Department and Justice Department announced a record-setting corporate settlement of $4.3 billion in late November.
Zhao, pleaded guilty to anti-money laundering and sanctions violations following years-long probes by federal regulators.
Zhao also stepped down as chairman of the board of directors for Binance.US last week, effectively removing his influence from Binance.US’s governance and rendering his interest in the U.S. arm of the exchange “purely economic.”