Binance founder, Changpeng Zhao, jailed

The founder of Binance, Changpeng Zhao, has been sentenced to four months in prison becoming the world’s richest prisoner with a personal fortune estimated at $43 billion.

Changpeng “CZ” Zhao was sentenced by a Seattle court on Tuesday after pleading guilty to violations of United States anti-money laundering and sanctions laws last year.

A US judge handed down the four-month sentence despite prosecutors pushing for a three-year term, as the court took into account the “positive nature of Mr Zhao’s past behaviour.

His prison sentence marked a stunning downfall for the former boss of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange.

Facing his trial, the Prosecutors said Mr Zhao allowed fraudulent activities to happen because it was the “best way to attract users, build his company, and line his pockets”.

The US Government said, “Zhao bet that he would not get caught and that if he did, the consequences would not be as serious as the crime.”

In response, Mr Zhao’s lawyers argued he should not be sent to prison and stressed he was sorry for the harm caused by Binance.

The company was earlier this year ordered to pay $4.3 billion after an investigation found it had helped users bypass sanctions.

During his defence, Mr Zhao apologised for his “mistakes” and said the company had been cooperating with the government’s investigations.

He said that once freed he planned to develop education technology for underprivileged children.

The ruling comes weeks after Sam Bankman-Fried, Mr Zhao’s rival and former chief executive of collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX, was sentenced to 25 years for a multibillion-dollar fraud.