There’s apparently more to the Binance saga than its ex-CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) just waiting for sentencing after he already pleaded guilty to the charge against him in the US and consequently agreeing to pay the imposed fine. It turns out the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is digging for more evidence of a more intricate scam rivaling the FTX debacle.
SEC on a Witch Hunt Against Binance.US
Watcher Guru says SEC is on a witch hunt for Binance.US, the USA counterpart of the top global crypto platform. The regulator is ostensibly hoping to uncover proof of CZ utilizing the entity as a backdoor to manipulate assets. The allegation is eerily similar to the findings against the fallen FTX.
Should SEC find more damning evidence nailing Binance.US, it could add more to the cases the embattled crypto exchange is currently facing in the American court. A week ago, Binance already filed guilty pleas for a series of charges, including violation of anti-money laundering (AML) law, failure to secure license as a business, and ignoring sanction laws.
The bargain came with an astounding $4.3 billion fine for Binance. Zhao, who is out on a $175 million bail bond while awaiting sentencing, is looking at a $50 million penalty plus possibly a probation or prison time for AML lapses.
Now, there have been diverse opinions regarding CZ’s potential sentence going around. For crypto expert and lawyer John E. Deaton, the former Binance supremo could be slapped with two to five years probation while others see jail time around 18 months — mitigated by certain factors.
However, the Department of Justice has made it clear that it’s pushing for a 10-year sentence for Zhao. The authorities are clearly looking to make an example out of him to deter other bad actors in the crypto space.
Given these facts, another lawsuit stemming from a Binance.US probe might blindside the defense, and their client may well get more penalties than he earlier negotiated.
Community Reaction Regarding the Binance Affair
Being such a darling figure in the cryptocurrency landscape, some saw the cases thrown at Binance as a tad bit excessive. Meanwhile, other crypto community members saw CZ as a martyr playing ball with the accusers to pave the way for better regulations in the industry.
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong echoed the latter’s sentiment. He added the “news” marks the need for a careful approach to running a crypto exchange so that it aligns with regulations rather than letting customers get their way.