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Changpeng Zhao: Here’s what former Binance CEO has said ahead of sentencing

By:
on Apr 24, 2024
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  • Changpeng Zhao has apologized for his mistakes and failures at Binance.
  • The former Binance CEO is awaiting sentencing, expected on April 30.
  • Zhao could be jailed for up to three years, which is what prosecutors are asking for

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Changpeng Zhao or “CZ” across the crypto space, is the founder and former CEO of leading crypto exchange Binance. He’s in the United States awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to US Department of Justice (DOJ) charges in November last year.

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Zhao resigned as Binance CEO following the exchange’s settlement with the DOJ, with Richard Teng taking over as the new chief executive.

What has Zhao said?

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Zhao has written a letter to US Judge Richard A. Jones of the Western District of Washington.

In the letter sent on April 23, CZ apologized for his past decisions, which he terms as “poor”. The former Binance chief also takes “full responsibility” for every one of his mistakes.

Notably, Zhao accepts he failed to “establish the necessary compliance controls at Binance.”

The filing shows there were another 161 letters accompanied Zhao’s apology. All vouched for CZ, with support including Zhao’s sister Jessica Zhao and Binance co-founder He Yi.

Tigran Gambaryan, a Binance compliance officer, also wrote a supportive letter. Gambaryan remains in Nigeria since his arrest in the country earlier this year.

Others are Max S. Baucus, former U.S. Ambassador to China, and Professor Jeremy R. Cooperstock of McGill University.

Zhao’s sentencing – when and what?

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Remember Sam Bankman-Fried? He received a 25 year prison sentence after being found guilty by a jury. But CZ, whose “mistakes” are nowhere near the atrocities that Bankman-Fried oversaw at FTX, doesn’t face a jail term as long as that of the disgraced former FTX CEO.

We know the former Binance CEO’s sentencing is scheduled for April 30, 2024 and initially, it was expected CZ faced up to 18 months in jail. According to latest reports, US prosecutors are eyeing up to three years.

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