US court approves order for Binance to pay $2.7 billion to CFTC Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Zhao Changpeng, founder and chief executive of Binance, attends the Viva Technology conference dedicated to innovation and startups at the Porte de Versailles exhibition center in Paris, France June 16, 2022. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Ph

By Kanishka Singh

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. court issued an injunction against crypto exchange Binance and its former CEO Changpeng Zhao, approving billions in money laundering fines following a case brought by the U.S. Commodity Trading Commission, the agency said on Monday.

Zhao will pay $150 million and Binance will pay $2.7 billion to the CFTC as a result, the agency said in a statement.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois approved the previously announced settlement and issued a consent order for a permanent injunction, civil monetary penalty and equitable relief against Zhao and Binance, the CFTC said in a statement. A settlement was reached in late November.

The court imposed a civil monetary penalty of $150 million against Zhao personally and required Binance to disgorge $1.35 billion in ill-gotten transaction fees and pay a $1.35 billion fine to the CFTC, according to the agency.

In November, Zhao resigned and pleaded guilty to violating US anti-money laundering laws as part of a deal to resolve a years-long investigation into the world’s largest crypto exchange.

At the time, Binance said the resolutions recognized the company’s responsibility “for historic, criminal violations and allow our company to turn the page.”

Binance violated US anti-money laundering laws and sanctions by failing to report more than 100,000 suspicious transactions with organizations designated by the US as terrorist groups, authorities said.

The exchange also failed to report transactions with websites dedicated to selling child sexual abuse material and was one of the biggest recipients of ransomware proceeds, they added.