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Binance’s Founder Changpeng Zhao Begins Prison Sentence in California

Changpeng Zhao (CZ), founder of Binance, has begun serving his sentence at a low-security prison in Lompoc, California.
CZ CEO binance prison california

Changpeng Zhao (CZ), founder of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has begun serving his sentence at a low-security prison in Lompoc, California.

Convicted on April 30th, CZ was allowed to remain on bail until the end of May. CNBC contacted CZ’s legal team at Latham & Watkins, who confirmed that the former Binance CEO had started his imprisonment at the federal prison in Lompoc, California.

Binance was fined $4.32 billion, while CZ received a four-month prison sentence for charges he faced since November 2023, significantly less than the 36 months prosecutors had sought. He was previously out on bail with a $175 million bond and agreed not to appeal any sentences.

Born in 1977, Changpeng Zhao is a Chinese-Canadian who graduated in computer science from McGill University. He worked at the Tokyo Stock Exchange and later Bloomberg LP’s financial division. During this time, CZ learned about money flow through computer systems and developed a keen interest in finance.

Before founding Binance in July 2017, CZ was part of the development team at and served as the CTO of OKCoin, the second-largest cryptocurrency exchange. According to Bloomberg, in 2021, CZ joined the billionaire club with a net worth of $96 billion. He is listed with a net worth of $36.5 billion, ranking 43rd globally, down from $43 billion and 32nd place the previous month.


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