Binance chief Changpeng Zhao was expected to plead guilty in U.S. District Court in Seattle on Tuesday, to criminal charges. He will also step down as the company’s CEO as part of a $4.3 billion settlement with the Department of Justice, according to court documents.
Binance is facing three counts related to failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program, operating an unlicensed currency exchange and violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.
Binance has agreed to forfeit $2.5 billion to the government, as well as to pay a fine of $1.8 billion.
The DOJ is also recommending that the court impose a $50 million fine on Zhao.
Started by Zhao in 2017, Binance went from a relatively obscure name to a major force in crypto in a matter of weeks. To this day, Binance remains the world’s largest crypto exchange globally, processing billions of dollars in trading volume every year.