Crypto exchange Binance will settle a long-running investigation with the U.S. Department of Justice in a deal to be announced later Tuesday, a person familiar with the situation told CoinDesk.
Founder Changpeng “CZ” Zhao will step down from his role as CEO of the world’s largest crypto trading platform and plead guilty to violating criminal U.S. anti-money laundering requirements, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Binance will pay a $4.3 billion fine, the newspaper said.
The DOJ announced it would hold a press conference on Tuesday to announce “significant cryptocurrency enforcement actions,” with Attorney General Merrick Garland, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco and Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Rostin Behnam. The person familiar with the matter said this would be tied to the DOJ’s long-running investigation into Binance.
A DOJ spokesperson declined to comment.
The DOJ has investigated Binance over allegations it allowed people from sanctioned countries to operate on its exchange, alongside other issues. It was sued by the CFTC5 earlier this year.
The price of bitcoin (BTC) and Binance’s native token BNB rose after the report of the settlement.
UPDATE (Nov. 21, 2023, 16:45 UTC): Adds additional detail, including confirmation about what Tuesday’s press conference will discuss.
UPDATE (Nov. 21, 2023, 17:24 UTC): Adds Wall Street Journal report on Zhao planning to step down and Binance paying a $4.3 billion fine.