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Despite being sentenced to prison, Binance founder Zhao’s significant wealth remains unaltered.

Changpeng Zhao, the billionaire co-founder and former CEO of Binance, is expected to see his mammoth wealth remain intact and likely continue to climb even as he faces time behind bars after his sentencing in a Seattle court. Zhao, commonly referred to as “CZ” in crypto circles, was sentenced to four months in prison on Tuesday after pleading guilty to charges of enabling money laundering at his crypto exchange. The sentence handed down to Zhao in Seattle federal court was significantly less than the three years that federal prosecutors had been seeking for him. The defense had asked for five months of probation. Sentencing guidelines called for a prison term of 12 to 18 months. A Binance spokesperson mentioned that the crypto exchange has made considerable compliance enhancements, including improvements in anti-money laundering detection and hiring key compliance personnel.

Crypto rally offers Zhao a boost

Despite Zhao facing time in prison, industry experts and lawyers indicate that his tremendous personal wealth will remain unaffected and may even rise. Los Angeles corporate law attorney Tre Lovell explained that the government is only entitled to any restitution or fines imposed and not to Zhao’s assets or wealth as a whole. Former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani concurred, stating that Zhao’s personal wealth won’t be affected by his sentence as there was no restitution order against him. Consequently, he is expected to retain his significant wealth upon his release from prison.

Experts suggest that Zhao’s net worth is likely to continue to rise due to the buoyant crypto prices supporting trading activity on Binance, ultimately boosting his personal fortune. Despite various legal challenges and lawsuits against Binance, including ongoing SEC litigation, Zhao’s net worth has notably surged. Forbes’ World’s Billionaires list estimated his net worth at $33 billion in March 2024, up from $10.5 billion the previous year. Additionally, Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index places Zhao’s net worth even higher at $42.9 billion. With his substantial stake in Binance, Zhao remains a key figure in the crypto industry poised to benefit from its growth.

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