The Crypto Community Shows Binance’s CZ Love as He Begins His Prison Sentence

In this post:

  • Friends of CZ and his legal team confirm that Zhao has begun serving his prison sentence.
  • US DOJ sentenced CZ to four months in prison in April after pleading guilty to money laundering at Binance.
  • Crypto community members root for CZ to come out victorious after serving his jail term.

Changpeng Zhao, alias CZ, has begun his prison sentence in a low-security federal prison in Lompoc, California. Once he completes his four-month sentence, CZ plans to resume his involvement in the crypto industry. While at it, the crypto community has eagerly showered CZ with love and support as his jail term kicks off.

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Changpeng Zhao, the billionaire founder of Binance, has been sent to a federal prison with a minimal level of security in Lompoc, California. According to a CNBC report, his legal team at Latham and Watkins confirmed this information.

Crypto Enthusiasts Show CZ Waves of Support 

Crypto community members have shown their admiration for the former Binance CEO as he is taken into prison custody. One user on X (formerly Twitter) said, “I would like to see him back in Binance, crypto sucks without him.” Another added, “Counting down the days until your return, CZ. The best is yet to come.”

CZ starts Jail sentence
Source: CNBC

One Reddit user, Illesemprelaziale, said, “Yeah, he’ll be fine, but I respect him for taking one for the team rather than putting Binance at risk. If FTX’s downfall hit Crypto hard, just imagine what would happen if Binance collapsed. He pleaded guilty and stepped down as CEO.”

Zhao received a four-month prison sentence in April for facilitating money laundering at his crypto exchange. He is poised to become the richest person in the United States to be confined in a federal prison. Before commencing his sentence, CZ was also instructed to pay a $50 million penalty for his law violations.

CZ’s Sentencing 

The former Binance chief’s sentence was much shorter than the three years sought by US prosecutors. Prosecutors previously argued in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington that CZ should be sentenced to 36 months in prison.

CZ wrote a letter of apology to Judge Richard Jones, requesting a reduced sentence. “I’m sorry. I believe the first step of taking responsibility is to fully recognize the mistakes,” Zhao reportedly said in court. “Here I failed to implement an adequate anti-money laundering program [..] I realize now the seriousness of that mistake.” He added that:

I apologize for my poor decision and take full responsibility for my actions. In hindsight, I should have focused on Binance’s compliance changes from the beginning, but I didn’t. It is my fault for not establishing the necessary compliance measures to regulate Binance, and I have nothing to say about it.

I hope I can change this part of Binance’s history, and under my leadership Binance has implemented the strictest anti-money laundering controls of any non-U.S. exchange since 2022.

Changpeng Zhao

According to reports, the inmates at FCI Lompoc are housed in a mix of units. They include larger ones that can accommodate up to 250 individuals and smaller arrangements for 8 people. The facility also offers open dormitory-style living with communal bathrooms and showers, providing limited privacy. 

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In addition, inmates at FCI Lompoc, similar to CZ and many others, generally have relatively short sentences, with the majority having less than 20 years left to serve.

Zhao’s Post-Prison Plans 

Following his sentencing, Zhao detailed his post-prison plans, saying that he intends to resume his crypto investments once his sentence ends. In addition to crypto, CZ intends to get into Big Pharma, adding “Looking ahead, I also see many opportunities in biotech.”

Specifically, CZ feels that too much of the current medical research is profit-driven. According to Zhao, Big Pharma gets quarterly reports on their profits, which pushes them to slightly prioritize making drugs that people will have to take forever.  Zhao adds, “I want to help fund small research labs to cure diseases once and for all and use blockchain technology to provide medical care to billions of people around the world.”


Crypto Reporting By Florence Muchai

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