The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) is seeking more than $4billion as part of a proposed resolution of a years-long investigation into the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance Holdings Ltd.
The CEO of Binance, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, is stepping down as part of a major $4 billion settlement with the DOJ and Commodities Futures Trading Commission.
As part of the settlement, Zhao will also plead guilty to anti-money laundering charges brought by the Department of Justice. He is scheduled to enter the plea in federal court in Seattle on Tuesday afternoon, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Binance and its founder were charged in June with operating an unregistered exchange and misleading investors by using a Switzerland-based fund Sigma Chain, which was also owned by CZ, to inflate the trading volume on Binance’s U.S. platform.
Bloomberg reported Monday that Binance was set to agree to a $4 billion settlement with the Justice Department. The deal would mark the end of a Justice Department investigation into the crypto exchange that began at least in 2018. Reuters reported that federal prosecutors had asked Binance to hand over files and messages relating to its U.S. customers in late 2020.
Last year, Binance had announced the formation of a Global Advisory Board led by former US Senator and Ambassador to China, Max Baucus. Other members include David Plouffe, former campaign manager for President Barack Obama, and Bruno Bézard, former head of the French Treasury.