Binance founder Changpeng “CZ” Zhao has reportedly agreed to step down as CEO of his crypto exchange as the US Department of Justice (DOJ) prepares to announce it has secured a $4.3 billion settlement. dollars with the company.
According to The Wall Street Journal, CZ intends to plead guilty to several charges levied by the Department of Justice. He is scheduled to appear in federal court in Seattle on Nov. 21, where he will plead guilty, the Journal said. The report also indicates that he will plead guilty to “one criminal charge” related to violating anti-money laundering statutes.
Although the deal would allow CZ to retain his majority stake in Binance, indicating that he likely will not face jail time as part of the plea deal, he will not be allowed to hold an executive position at the company.
The Wall Street Journal also reported that this plea deal will not affect pending litigation with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, as it does not include a settlement for the case it filed against Binance in June.
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However, the DOJ settlement will resolve the company’s issues with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, as the reported $4.3 billion settlement includes funds that will be applied to the CFTC case and pending claims against the company for part of the US Department of the Treasury.
Crypto social media has exploded with activity as news of CZ’s plea deal filters through the ranks.
Former pharmaceutical magnate and known to the media as “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli, who served four years of a seven-year sentence on fraud charges, stepped in to apparently joke that he would “put in a good word” for CZ, although that’s unlikely. The former CEO of Binance will face jail time as part of his plea deal.
here we go again.@cz_binance Jail isn’t that bad, I’ll put in a good word with Flacco and dem https://t.co/yx0wpeIWx7
— Martin Shkreli (e/acc) (@wagieeacc) November 21, 2023
Neither Binance nor the US Department of Justice immediately responded to requests for comment.
Update November 21 at 10:22 PST: The author of this article mistakenly attributed the origin of the title “Pharma Bro” to Martin Shkreli. It was noted that this title was given by the media and the article was modified to reflect this.
This is a developing story and more information will be added as it becomes available.