All posts tagged: Binance

Behind Nigeria’s Arrest of Binance Employee, Claims of a Bribe Request

Behind Nigeria’s Arrest of Binance Employee, Claims of a Bribe Request

[ad_1] On a trip to Nigeria in January, Tigran Gambaryan, a compliance officer for the giant cryptocurrency exchange Binance, received an unsettling message: The company had 48 hours to make a payment of roughly $150 million in crypto. Mr. Gambaryan, a former U.S. law enforcement agent, understood the message as a request for a bribe from someone in the Nigerian government, according to five people familiar with the matter and messages reviewed by The New York Times. He and a group of his Binance colleagues had just met with Nigerian legislators, who accused the company of tax violations and threatened to arrest its employees. The Binance officials fled Nigeria in a panic. Later that month, Mr. Gambaryan wrote a three-page report describing the payment request and gave it to Binance’s lawyers, two people familiar with the report said. He also alerted contacts in the Nigerian government, the people said, and recounted the incident to them. The episode was the backdrop for a second trip to Nigeria that Mr. Gambaryan took in February. On his return, …

TechCrunch Minute: Where CZ’s sentencing leaves the state of crypto

TechCrunch Minute: Where CZ’s sentencing leaves the state of crypto

[ad_1] Four months behind bars and a massive fine, that’s what CZ is getting from the government for his crypto exchange’s misdeeds. Regardless of how you view the verdict — too much, too little, just right — his sentencing is a big deal for web3. Potentially in a positive way. There’s effort by some in crypto to promote the technology element of blockchains over their well-reported ability to generate new gambling opportunities. Chris Dixon of a16z frames this in ‘computer v casino’ terms, which I think is reasonable. If you are in favor of the computer over the casino you probably want the crypto market to be as in-line with financial norms as possible. Why? Because that means that crypto can itself sit very close to the larger world economy, and thus the computing elements of blockchain tech can shine, attract investment, and provide the most use. If you are more in favor of the casino side of the conversation — line go up, memecoins, bitcoin maximalism, etc — you might not be a fan. After …

Binance Founder Sentenced to 4 Months in Prison

Binance Founder Sentenced to 4 Months in Prison

[ad_1] Changpeng Zhao, the billionaire founder of the giant cryptocurrency exchange Binance, was sentenced on Tuesday to four months in prison, a much lighter penalty than other crypto executives have faced since the industry imploded in 2022. Mr. Zhao pleaded guilty last year to a money-laundering violation, acknowledging that his company allowed terrorist groups and other criminals to have access to its platform. Defense lawyers asked for probation without any prison time, while prosecutors requested a three-year sentence, calling it an “unprecedented” crime. But Judge Richard A. Jones, who oversaw the case in U.S. District Court in Seattle, said in court on Tuesday that Mr. Zhao had taken responsibility for his offenses and was unlikely to break the law again. “Your conduct does not warrant a 36-month sentence,” Judge Jones said. He called Mr. Zhao “a dedicated family man and a giving person” and praised his “staggering accomplishment” in building Binance. Wearing a dark suit and light blue tie, Mr. Zhao, 47, did not visibly react as the sentence was announced. But he nodded vigorously …

Former Binance CEO CZ sentenced to four months | Crypto News

Former Binance CEO CZ sentenced to four months | Crypto News

[ad_1] Changpeng Zhao, the former chief executive of Binance, was sentenced on Tuesday to four months in prison after pleading guilty to violating US money-laundering laws at the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. The sentence was imposed by United States District Judge Richard Jones in Seattle, who rejected prosecutors’ request that the 47-year-old Zhao serve a three-year term. Once considered the most powerful person in the cryptocurrency industry, Zhao, known as “CZ,” is the second major crypto boss to be sentenced to prison after Sam Bankman-Fried. In March, Bankman-Fried received 25 years behind bars for stealing eight billion dollars from customers of his now-bankrupt FTX exchange. Zhao pleaded guilty in November to one count of failing to take required anti-money-laundering measures and stepped down as Binance agreed to pay $4.3bn to settle related allegations. US officials said Zhao deliberately looked the other way as people conducted transactions that supported child sex abuse, the illegal drug trade and “terrorism”. “I failed here,” Zhao said before US District Judge Richard A Jones issued the sentence. “I deeply regret my failure, and I …

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao Sentenced to Four Months in Prison

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao Sentenced to Four Months in Prison

[ad_1] Changpeng Zhao, founder of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has been sentenced to four months in prison. Judge Richard Jones, who presided over the sentencing hearing in the Western District of Washington on Tuesday, handed down a lighter sentence than the three years petitioned by the prosecution. Last November, Zhao—better known as CZ—pleaded guilty to willfully violating anti-money-laundering rules that enabled hundreds of millions of dollars in transactions involving US-sanctioned entities, including Iran and Cuba, to pass through the Binance platform. The plea deal required Zhao to step down as Binance chief executive and accept a $150 million fine, and for the company to pay a $4.3 billion penalty. “Zhao’s willful violation of US law was no accident or oversight,” the US Department of Justice wrote in a court filing ahead of the sentencing. “He made a business decision that violating US law was the best way to attract users, build his company, and line his pockets.” In the filing, prosecutors requested that Zhao receive a 36-month prison sentence, pointing to the need …

Changpeng Zhao: Former boss of world’s largest crypto exchange Binance jailed for allowing money laundering | Business News

Changpeng Zhao: Former boss of world’s largest crypto exchange Binance jailed for allowing money laundering | Business News

[ad_1] The former boss of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange has been jailed for four months for allowing money laundering. The sentence was handed down to Binance founder Changpeng Zhao, nicknamed CZ, after he pleaded guilty to breaching US anti-money laundering laws designed to prevent terrorist financing. US prosecutors had sought a three-year term – twice the maximum 18 months recommended under federal sentencing guidelines – to be tough on the man once thought to be the most powerful person in the crypto world. A $50m (£40m) fine has already been paid by Mr Zhao. He is the second major crypto boss to go to prison. Last month, the founder of FTX Sam Bankman-Fried was sentenced to 25 years for stealing billions of dollars from the now-bankrupt crypto exchange. Bankman-Fried has appealed against his conviction and his sentence. Mr Zhao stepped down from his role at Binance in November after he and the company admitted evading requirements under the US Bank Secrecy Act. The company agreed to a $4.3bn (£3.4bn) penalty as prosecutors said it …

Binance Founder Should Get 3 Years in Prison, Prosecutors Say

Binance Founder Should Get 3 Years in Prison, Prosecutors Say

[ad_1] Changpeng Zhao, the founder of the giant cryptocurrency exchange Binance, should go to prison for three years after breaking the law “on an unprecedented scale” and pleading guilty to a money-laundering violation, federal prosecutors wrote in a court filing on Wednesday. Defense lawyers countered in their own memo that Mr. Zhao, 47, should receive no prison time and face a sentence of probation, arguing that he had accepted responsibility for his crime and showed a commitment to philanthropy. A federal judge in Seattle, Richard A. Jones, is set to evaluate those dueling recommendations at a sentencing hearing for Mr. Zhao on Tuesday. His sentencing will be the latest landmark in a series of criminal prosecutions that have targeted some of the most powerful figures in the global cryptocurrency industry. Just 18 months ago, Mr. Zhao, riding high as Binance’s chief executive, helped set off the chain of events that led to the collapse of FTX, Binance’s largest rival, and the imprisonment of the FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, who was sentenced to 25 years for …

Binance founder faces 36-month prison term for violating US laws

Binance founder faces 36-month prison term for violating US laws

[ad_1] In a startling development, US prosecutors are pushing for a 36-month prison term for Changpeng Zhao, the founder of cryptocurrency exchange Binance, according to a court filing on Tuesday. Zhao, who stepped down as CEO but retains majority ownership of the company, is due for sentencing on April 30 in Seattle after pleading guilty in November to violating US anti-money laundering regulations. As part of his plea deal, Zhao agreed to pay a $50 million fine, while Binance offered to pay $4.3 billion in fines and compensation. However, prosecutors are now seeking a harsher punishment than the 18 months initially recommended by federal sentencing guidelines, arguing that the severity of Zhao’s willful breach of US law and its ramifications warrant an above-Guidelines sentence. Zhao reaped vast rewards for his violation of US law, […] and the price of that violation must be significant to effectively punish Zhao for his criminal acts and to deter others who are tempted to build fortunes and business empires by breaking US law. Alleged negligence and operational shortcomings Prosecutors …

Binance obtains virtual asset service provider license in Dubai

Binance obtains virtual asset service provider license in Dubai

[ad_1] Binance Holdings Ltd., the world’s largest digital asset exchange, has obtained a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) license in Dubai after co-founder Changpeng “CZ” Zhao agreed to give up his voting control in the local entity, according to people familiar with the matter not identified in the Bloomberg report. This long-awaited license is a significant win for Binance, which has faced a series of regulatory challenges over the past two years. The exchange was forced to pay $4.3 billion in penalties to U.S. authorities in November, and as part of the deal, Zhao was required to step down as CEO. The VASP license allows Binance to offer a broader range of services to customers in the emirate, including retail cryptocurrency trading. Prior to this, Binance’s local unit, Binance FZE, had held “Operational MVP” licenses for broker-dealer and exchange services since mid-2023. One of the final conditions set by the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) before granting the full VASP license was for Zhao to relinquish his voting control of Binance FZE. Officials wanted to …

Binance Executive Reportedly Breaks Out of House Arrest

Binance Executive Reportedly Breaks Out of House Arrest

[ad_1] Yikes. Bye! A detained Binance executive has reportedly broken out of custody in Nigeria. Per Forbes, the escaped executive, British-Kenyan citizen Nadeem Anjarwalla, was arrested by Nigerian authorities alongside US citizen and fellow Binancer Tigran Gambaryan in February. According to CNBC, reports that Anjarwalla had escaped custody — the pair were sequestered at a guest house in the Nigerian capital Abuja — started swirling on Friday, and the rumor was confirmed on Monday when the Nigerian government officially filed tax evasion charges against the embattled cryptocurrency exchange. “We were made aware that Nadeem is no longer in Nigerian custody,” a Binance spokesperson told CNBC. “Our primary focus remains on the safety of our employees and we are working collaboratively with Nigerian authorities to quickly resolve this issue.” The country’s national security advisor told Reuters that Nigeria is working with Interpol to put out an international arrest warrant for the executive, who’s only the latest crypto executive to go on the lam. Bad Hand Anjarwalla and Gambaryan’s detainment in Nigeria has been fraught from the beginning. According to …