CZ, Binance’s ex-CEO gets off with 4 months in prison, DOJ in shock!

The Seattle court has handed down its verdict in the case of Changpeng Zhao, co-founder of Binance, accused of violating US anti-money laundering laws. Despite requests from prosecutors for a 36-month sentence, the judge opted for a more lenient 4-month prison term.

Changpeng Zhao will spend 4 months in prison instead of the 36 requested by prosecutors!

The long-awaited trial of Changpeng Zhaoconcluded this Tuesday April 30 with a decision that surprised many observers. While the federal prosecutors were calling for a 36-month prison sentence with a $50 million fine, the co-founder of Binance finally gets away with a sentence of only 4 months of imprisonment.

However, the charges against CZ were far from trivial. In addition to anti-money laundering violations, he was accused of profiting from ransomware revenues. Misdeeds for which he had pleaded guilty in November 2023, agreeing to pay $4.3 billion in settlement.

In a letter to the judge before the hearing, CZ has apologized for its bad decisions in the management of Binance promising never to have to deal with the law again, and highlighting his philanthropic activities.

This acknowledgement obviously elicited clemency from the judge Richard Jones. The latter certainly reproached Zhao to have given priority to the growth and profitability of Binance to the detriment of compliance with U.S. law. also acknowledged the absence of evidence that CZ was aware of of the illegal activities within his exchange, as well as his willingness to assume his responsibilities.

Too lenient a sentence? harsh criticism from prosecutors

Unsurprisingly, the sentence, deemed too lenient, has aroused the ire of the prosecutors in charge of the case. Kevin Mosley hammered home the point that Zhao were intentional and not mere errors, even accusing him of wanting to “kill the crypto industry”. His colleague Tessa insisted on the need for longer incarceration.

On social networks, reactions are divided. While some support CZ others questioned the court’s leniency in comparison with the sentence handed down to Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of FTX, who was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

The ruling in the Changpeng Zhao case brings to a close a legal saga that has captivated the crypto world for many months. Despite the seriousness of the charges brought against the co-founder of Binance, the relative leniency shown by the court is likely to trigger a lively controversy that is sure to rekindle debate within the crypto community.