Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, the founder of Binance, has reportedly agreed to step down as the CEO of the popular crypto exchange. This decision comes as the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) is poised to announce a substantial $4.3 billion settlement with the company.
According to information from The Wall Street Journal, the ex founder is set to plead guilty to multiple charges brought forward by the DOJ. The entrepreneur is scheduled to make his plea in a federal court in Seattle on Nov. 21. The report highlights that CZ will plead guilty to a criminal charge linked to the violation of Anti-Money Laundering statutes.
While the proposed settlement would enable CZ to maintain his majority stake in Binance, suggesting that he may avoid jail time, it comes with the condition that he cannot hold an executive position within the company.
CZ Facing Implications on Litigation and Regulatory Matters
The Wall Street Journal has also clarified that this plea deal will not impact the ongoing litigation with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC had filed a case against Binance in June, and this settlement does not include resolution for that specific legal battle.
However, the reported $4.3 billion settlement with the DOJ is expected to address Binance’s issues with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The settlement amount includes funds designated to settle the CFTC’s case and outstanding claims against the company from the U.S. Treasury Department.