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Crypto Shock: Binance admits to money laundering, CEO to step down, plus company to pony up $4.3B fine

Crypto king Changpeng Zhao who led Binance (the world’s largest such exchange) has essentially fallen from grace. According to a plea deal, CZ is set to step down from the company, pay an individual fine of $50m… let’s dig into the rest of the jarring details here.

The plea deal as part of an agreement with the Justice Department stems from criminal charges filed by the United States alleging that the company is all but a fraud. In the initial complaint, the U.S charged the company with failing to register a money transfer business albeit operating one illegally among other charges. Zhao will further be banned from any involvement in the business following the shock admission.

THE BREAKDOWN

In total, Binance must cough up $1.81B in fines plus an added $2.51B order of forfeiture.

Zhao wrote in a tweet, “Today, I stepped down as CEO of Binance. Admittedly, it was not easy to let go emotionally. But I know it is the right thing to do. I made mistakes, and I must take responsibility. This is best for our community, for Binance, and for myself… I can’t see myself being a CEO driving a startup again.”

Historically, the huge $4.3B fine to be collected by the DOJ is the largest of such kind ever.

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