Binance Founder CZ Starts Prison Sentence

Changpeng Zhao's stint as America's richest prisoner kicked off this weekend.
Jack Inabinet Jack Inabinet Jun 3, 20241 min read
Binance Founder CZ Starts Prison Sentence

Binance founder Changpeng Zhao (CZ) is now known as inmate 88087-510 at the low-security Federal Correctional Institute in Lompoc, California.

What’s the scoop?

  • Prior Conviction: CZ previously pled guilty to violating the Bank Secrecy Act last November for his exchange’s failure to implement proper anti-money laundering procedures while providing illegal access to US users. In April, a judge sentenced CZ to 4 months in prison and handed down a $50M fine for his role in the crimes.
  • Richest Person Jailed: With an estimated net worth north of $30B, CZ is currently the 49th richest person in the world and now possesses the unenviable distinction of being the richest person ever sentenced to jail in the United States.

Bankless Take:

Overwhelming amounts of evidence clearly demonstrated that Binance and CZ – in his role as CEO – willfully onboarded American users to the exchange while failing to register with the appropriate regulatory authorities and knowingly facilitating money laundering. And although a rational mind can easily justify that there should be consequences for individuals committing financial crimes, it is certainly ironic to see CZ sentenced to jail as banking CEOs who lead organizations that commit many billion dollars more in crime continue to walk free.


Jack Inabinet

Written by Jack Inabinet

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Jack Inabinet is a Senior Analyst with a passion for exploring the bleeding edge of crypto and finance. Prior to joining Bankless, Jack worked as an analyst at HAL Real Estate where he conducted market research and financial analysis for commercial apartment development and acquisition activities in the Seattle region. He graduated from the University of Washington’s Michael G. Foster School of Business and remains based out of the Seattle area.

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