26 Feb, 2024

Binance Agrees to $4.3B Settlement with DOJ for AML Violations

binance plea

TL;DR

  • Binance is set to pay $4.3 billion in fines following the approval of its plea agreement with the DOJ by US District Judge Richard Jones.
  • About an hour after the prosecutors proposed changes to Binance founder Zhao’s bond, CZ lawyers drew an objection.

Federal Judge Signs Off Binance’s $4.3 Billion Settlement

US Judge signs off Binance $4.3 billion settlement.
Binance and US | Source: Shutterstock

US District Judge Richard Jones has signed off on the crypto exchange Binance’s $4.3 billion settlement with the Department of Justice.

The guilty plea deal ranks among the heftiest in legal history. It was imposed after the crypto exchange violated federal anti-money laundering (AML) and sanction laws.

Under the settlement, Binance was to pay $4.3 billion and appoint an independent compliance monitor. Moreover, its CEO, Changpeng Zhao, stepped down.

Zhao had also pleaded guilty to separate charges. He is currently scheduled to get sentencing in April.

During the sentencing hearing, the federal judge approved the top-line fine itself. He, however, didn’t sign off on any monitor for the crypto exchange.

Binance Accepts Responsibility Via Plea Deal

Binance accepts responsibility via a plea deal.
Binance.

The crypto exchange reiterated its accepting responsibility through the plea deal through its spokesperson.

Binance added that it has since improved its Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering compliance.

We are gratified by the recognition from regulators regarding our cooperation and significantly enhanced compliance. We look forward in the coming months to continuing to build on our efforts to set the industry standard for compliance, security and transparency.

Binance spokesperson stated.

DOJ spokesperson, on the other hand, declined to comment on the matter.

In the sentencing memo, prosecutors highlighted that the plea deal reflects the nature and circumstances of the crypto exchange conduct.

With the agreement, Binance is taking substantial measures to ensure it complies with the US. Laws.

More than that, Binance’s sentence will serve as an example for institutions that want to break laws under the guise of innovation.

It’s a cautionary warning that there will be severe consequences for their criminal actions.

About an hour after this court hearing, prosecutors proposed bond changes for Changpeng Zhao.

It led to an objection from Zhao’s lawyers. The prosecutors defended their move, reiterating that they were meant to reflect Jones’ orders.

That is—Zhao stays in the continental United States and is under the supervision of a court officer until his sentencing. In addition, CZ needs to provide three days’ notice for any travel plans. 

He was also to surrender his passport and stay in his current residence unless he got approval for a change. Pre-trial services officers are even recommending that CZ be subject to location monitoring.

Prosecutors claim they have discussed all these changes with Zhao’s lawyers several times. They went on to say that CZ lawyers have objected to the motions.

Zhao’s lawyers have yet to respond to these changes officially. The Binance founder has been free in the United States on a $175 million bond after pleading guilty in Nov. 2023.

What do you think about the court greenlighting Binance’s plea deal with the US Department of Justice?