OAN’s James Meyers
2:51 PM – Tuesday, November 21, 2023
The CEO of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange is officially stepping down, in hopes of allowing the company’s operation to continue.
It was announced on Tuesday that Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao stepped down from his role and pleaded guilty to violations of the Bank Secrecy Act, which is an anti-money laundering law, among other charges.
The cryptocurrency exchange company will pay over $4.3 billion to settle the charges, which makes it the largest penalty in the history of the Treasury Department.
According to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Binance was guilty of “consistent and egregious violations of U.S. anti-money laundering and sanctions laws.”
The Justice Department (DOJ) also confirmed the move, announcing that Zhao has pleaded guilty to maintaining an effective anti-money laundering program and that he has stepped down as CEO.
“Binance became the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange in part because of the crimes it committed — now it is paying one of the largest corporate penalties in U.S. history,” Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said in the news release.
However, Zhao said that he would remain a shareholder of the company and would still be able to “talk to leadership.”
Additionally, the Treasury Department claimed that Binance “willfully failed to report more than 100,000 suspicious transactions from a host of sanctioned groups, including Hamas’ military arm, Qassam Brigades, Al Qaeda, the Islamic State terrorist group, a litany of criminal ransomware hackers, and users in countries facing U.S. sanctions, including North Korea and Iran.”
The Treasury Department said that Binance refrained from reporting transactions with websites that were reportedly selling materials related to child sexual abuse.
Meanwhile, other large cryptocurrency exchange companies have similarly been fighting lawsuits and had legal action taken against them as well. For example, Binance’s biggest rival, FTX, with FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried being found guilty of fraud.
On Monday, the Securities and Exchange commission charged crypto company Kraken with “failing to register its services with the agency,” which is required by securities law.
Stay informed! Receive breaking news blasts directly to your inbox for free. Subscribe here. https://www.oann.com/alerts