A US district judge has reportedly approved the plea agreements reached between Binance, former CEO Changpeng Zhao, and the Department of Justice (DoJ). Binance confessed to charges related to the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), failure to register as a money transmitter, and violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA).
After much back and forth, the biggest crypto exchange in the world agreed to settle the matter by paying over $4 billion to the DoJ. The founder and CEO of Binance, Changpeng Zhao, was also found culpable for not implementing a comprehensive anti-money laundering (AML) program, a breach of the BSA, and subsequently stepped down as Binance CEO. Richard Teng was named as the new CEO shortly afterwards.
US customers were prioritized
As per court records, Binance acknowledged prioritizing growth and profits over adherence to various regulations and laws. Established in 2017, Binance concentrated on attracting high-volume clients, including those based in the United States. After swiftly becoming the largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance predominantly garnered its clientele in the US.
Furthermore, due to its service to customers based in the United States, Binance was obligated to register with FinCEN as a money services business and establish an effective AML program aimed at reasonably preventing the facilitation of money laundering, as outlined in the court documents.