US prosecutors have recommended a 36-month prison sentence for Binance founder Changpeng Zhao (CZ) for allegedly violating anti-money laundering regulations.

Prosecutors are pushing for a long sentence

US prosecutors have a prison sentence of 36 months recommended for Changpeng Zhao, the founder of Binance, for allegedly violating anti-money laundering rules.

The court documents, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, accuse Zhao of deliberately targeting U.S. users despite knowing it violated U.S. regulations.

Intentional violation of laws

Federal sentencing guidelines generally mandate a maximum of eighteen months for such violations. However, prosecutors argue that a longer sentence is warranted due to the severity and deliberate nature of Zhao’s actions.

They emphasize that Zhao’s deliberate disobedience was not accidental, but was a strategic decision to attract consumers and maximize profits.

This is not the first time Binance has been under the microscope of the SEC or other regulatory bodies. Recently, Binance found itself embroiled in one legal matter in the Philippines, as well as in other countries such as Canada in Nigeria.

Response from the industry and CZ

Critics of the recommendation highlight Zhao’s contributions to the industry, as Binance became one of the largest and most influential exchanges globally under his leadership. However, the severity of the recommended punishment brings uncertainty for Binance and the cryptocurrency market.

According to CoinDesk CZ publicly apologized and accepted responsibility prior to the trial. In a letter to the District Court Judge Richard A. Jones, CZ expressed regret for his poor decisions and fully accepted responsibility for choices made.

Zhao’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 30, adding to the tension surrounding his fate and the potential implications for the cryptocurrency industry.


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