The U.S. Department of Justice has settled charges against crypto exchange giant Binance for $4.3 billion, bringing investigations spanning back to 2018 to a close.
The DOJ confirmed the settlement in a live video announcement on Tuesday, marking one of the largest enforcement actions ever closed in a crypto-related case.
The company pled guilty to willfully floundering the Bank Secrecy Act, among other things.
It now must report suspicious financial activity to federal authorities.
Meanwhile, Binance founder Changpeng Zhao (CZ) has pled guilty to failing to implement a strong anti-money laundering (AML) program on the platform. He entered his plea in person, in a U.S. District court earlier today.
He will personally pay a $50 million fine, and has stepped down as the exchange’s CEO.
Following the announcement, the price of BNB fell from $253 at the start of the day to $242.
CZ confirmed that he had stepped down on Tuesday through an X post, admitting that he’d “made mistakes, and I must take responsibility.”
“I can’t see myself being a CEO driving a startup again,” wrote CZ. “I am content being a one-shot (lucky) entrepreneur.”
Binance’s former Global Head of Regional Markets, Richard Teng, will be the firm’s new CEO. In his own post, Teng said his focus would be on collaborating with regulators, driving Web3 adoption, and ensuring users that Binance is a safe and secure company.
“With CZ, and our leadership team’s support, I have accepted this role so that we can continue to meet and exceed the expectations of stakeholders while achieving our core mission, the freedom of money,” he said.
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