Official sources have confirmed that claims against Binance from a number of U.S. government agencies have been settled. The crypto exchange will pay regulators about $4.4 billion. As part of the settlement, Changpeng Zhao pleaded guilty to criminal charges and stepped down as Binance’s CEO.

Binance and U.S. DOJ Settle, Changpeng Zhao Resigns as CEO

The U.S. Department of Justice reached a settlement with Binance over existing claims. The settlement also addressed claims against Binance by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). This was announced during a press conference by Merrick Garland, U.S. Attorney General. 

Janet Yellen, U.S. Treasury Secretary, said during the same press conference that Binance would have to pay more than $3.4 billion to the FinCEN and $968 million to the OFAC as fines as part of the settlement agreement. Rostin Behnam, Chairman of the CFTC, added that Binance would also pay $2.7 billion in civil money penalties and restitution. The deal also includes a $150 million payment from Changpeng Zhao, now ex-CEO of Binance, and another $1.5 million from Samuel Lim, ex-CCO of Binance. 

Additionally, Binance will be committing to a “complete exit” from the United States as part of its agreement with the FinCEN. The regulator will appoint a monitor to oversee the exchange’s sanctions compliance program for five years. During this time, the U.S. Department of the Treasury will have access to the platform’s internal data. These conditions don’t apply to Binance.US.

Representatives of Binance confirmed the agreement, separately noting the absence of allegations of misappropriation of user funds and participation in any market manipulation. Besides, the statement introduces Binance’s new CEO, Richard Teng

See also: Binance’s Top Manager Richard Teng Opens Up About Crypto Exchange’s Secret of Success and Working with Regulators

Changpeng Zhao stepped down as CEO of Binance as part of the settlement. He pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges of violating the Bank Secrecy Act. This was revealed in documents he filed on November 21 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. 

The court released CZ from custody on a $175 million bail. The terms of release allow Binance’s ex-CEO to leave the U.S., but he committed to return 14 days before sentencing. Moreover, Zhao deposited $15 million into a trust account held by law firm Davis Wright Tremaine. The funds will be forfeited if he violates the terms of his release. Prosecutors intend to appeal the bail decision, the deadline for review is November 27. 

Earlier, there was information about the possible settlement of the conflict between Binance and the U.S. Department of Justice. It’s worth noting that the SEC’s claims against Binance remain unresolved.

Author: Evgeny Tarasov
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