The US Justice Department is requesting almost $4 billion from Binance Holdings Ltd. to settle an investigation into the biggest cryptocurrency exchange in the world that has lasted for years.
According to people familiar with the discussions, the Justice Department and Binance are negotiating the possibility of Changpeng Zhao, the company’s founder, being charged criminally in the US as part of a resolution to end the investigation into claims of bank fraud, money laundering, and sanctions violations.
The United Arab Emirates, where Zhao, also known as “CZ,” resides, does not have an extradition treaty with the United States, but that doesn’t stop him from traveling there freely.
The person who was discussing a confidential matter and wanted not to be named said that an announcement might be made as soon as the end of the month, but things are still fluid.
Its believed that the agreement seeks to strike a balance that would allow Binance to continue operating in the US in order to avoid a collapse risk which could cause negative fallout for markets and crypto holders
It’s unclear exactly when, how, and what costs would be included in the proposed resolution. But Binance would probably have to pay more than $4 billion, which would be among the highest fines ever in a criminal cryptocurrency case.