- Binance founder Changpeng Zhao’s sentencing delayed to April 30th; he faces money laundering charges and pleaded guilty in November to failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program at Binance.
- FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried scheduled for sentencing on March 28th after being found guilty of fraud; experts estimate he may get 21-30 years in prison.
- Bankman-Fried currently in notorious Brooklyn jail with issues like poor conditions; his defense said he was subsisting on minimal food there.
Zhao Faces Money Laundering Charges
The Canadian national is currently free on a $175 million bond in the U.S. He faces money laundering charges.
The court notice didn’t give a reason for the delay. Zhao’s lawyer declined to comment.
Federal guidelines say the maximum sentence for money laundering is 18 months. But prosecutors said in a November filing they could argue for up to 10 years, suggesting Zhao may get more time.
As part of the plea, Zhao stepped down as CEO and paid a $50 million fine. Binance paid $4.3 billion in fines for conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitter.
Zhao tried to lift his travel restrictions to visit Dubai but was denied over flight risk concerns.
Bankman-Fried Faces March Sentencing
A New York jury found Bankman-Fried guilty on all seven criminal charges last November, including defrauding customers and investors.
At 32 years old, he could face up to 110 years in prison under New York guidelines. He was set to face a second trial, but prosecutors decided to skip it since evidence was already presented.
One expert estimates Bankman-Fried will get 21-30 years, while Zhao will get 18 months plus 5 years of monitoring. Prosecutors may also push both for info on Tether’s stablecoin practices.
Bankman-Fried in Notorious Brooklyn Jail
Bankman-Fried’s case has been dramatic. The judge jailed him pre-trial for leaking an ex’s diary.
He’s in the notorious Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn with inmates accused of terrorism, organized crime and drug smuggling.
The jail has long been criticized for issues like a 2019 weeklong power outage. Records show problems like excessive force and poor medical care.
The defense said Bankman-Fried was “subsisting on bread and water…sometimes peanut butter” there.