Founder of biggest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, sentenced to prison

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.Changpeng Zhao, known as “CZ,” the former CEO and the founder of Binance, the biggest cryptocurrency exchange globally, was sentenced to four months in prison on Tuesday. This decision came after he admitted to breaking US laws that prevent money laundering. The sentence was given in Seattle. The sentence was much less than what prosecutors originally wanted — three years.

Zhao, who was once a top figure in the cryptocurrency world, is now the second major crypto leader to face prison time. His punishment, however, is lighter compared to Sam Bankman-Fried, another crypto boss, who got 25 years for a larger crime involving $8 billion.

The judge criticized Zhao for focusing more on growing his business than following US regulations. Despite the severity of the accusations, Zhao showed no reaction when he heard his sentence. He attended the court hearing in a navy blue suit, accompanied by his mother and other family members. His lawyers had hoped he would only receive probation.

While U.S. Attorney Tessa Gorman celebrated the outcome as a significant success, critics argued the sentence was too mild. Dennis Kelleher from the advocacy group Better Markets commented that the light sentence sent a message that “crime pays,” as Zhao would still retain his wealth.

With agency inputs

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