CZ, CEO of Binance, the largest global cryptocurrency exchange, plans to resign and plead guilty to violating U.S. anti-money laundering requirements in a deal that could preserve the company’s ability to continue operating, according to people familiar with the matter.
These sources said that Changpeng Zhao will appear in the Seattle federal court this afternoon US time and make his defense. Zhao-owned Binance will also plead guilty to the charges and agree to pay fines totaling $4.3 billion, including amounts that would resolve legal claims filed by regulators, the people said.
The deal will allow Zhao to retain a majority stake in Binance, but he will not be able to take on an executive role at the company. He will be sentenced at a later date.
The outcome is similar to an earlier case that prosecutors filed against executives of BitMEX, a Seychelles-based crypto derivatives trading exchange. Its former CEO, Arthur Hayes, was convicted of violating the anti-money laundering law and was later sentenced to two years of supervised release, avoiding a possible prison sentence of six to 12 months.