Binance Co-founder Confident of Changpeng Zhao’s Situation Ahead of Sentencing

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Binance-SEC court
  • He Yi is confident of Changpeng Zhao’s situation ahead of sentencing in the United States.
  • According to Yi, Zhao’s current standing in the U.S. is “largely peaceful.
  • Zhao will be sentenced for failing to maintain an effective AML program at Binance.

Binance co-founder He Yi is confident of the former company’s CEO, Changpeng Zhao’s situation ahead of sentencing in the United States. Yi dispelled concerns over Zhao’s regulatory status during the Binance Chinese Meetup held in Dubai.

In a recent report, the Binance website cited that Yi elaborated that Zhao’s current standing in the U.S. is “largely peaceful, and past regulatory pressures have been internally anticipated.” The report also noted that she believes the current situation is the most optimal outcome given the circumstances.

Yi’s declaration of confidence comes a few days before the scheduled sentencing of Zhao in the U.S. after he admitted guilt to a felony charge. Following his plea agreement, the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington under Judge Richard Jones will conduct a hearing involving statements from the prosecution and Zhao’s defense team. 

Zhao’s case revolves around his admittance to a single charge of failing to maintain an effective Anti-Money Laundering (AML) program at Binance. He stepped down as Binance CEO as part of the plea agreement. He also agreed, in partnership with the cryptocurrency exchange, to pay $4.3 billion in settlement to resolve civil regulatory enforcement actions in the United States. That excludes any legal action by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

According to U.S. sentencing guidelines, Judge Jones can issue a lengthy jail term of up to 10 years to Zhao. However, the guideline range for his offense is between 12 to 18 months. Several observers believe the former Binance CEO could avoid jail term altogether, considering his cooperative stance on the issue and his guilty plea.

Last month, the court ordered Zhao to submit his Canadian passport to the authorities and remain within the borders of the U.S. until after his sentencing.

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