News
Ex-Binance CEO CZ seeks forgiveness and a fresh start in pre-sentencing apology letter Ex-Binance CEO CZ seeks forgiveness and a fresh start in pre-sentencing apology letter

Ex-Binance CEO CZ seeks forgiveness and a fresh start in pre-sentencing apology letter

Dozens of other individuals also wrote letters of support, including family, friends, Binance employees, volunteers, users — as well as industry and government officials.

Ex-Binance CEO CZ seeks forgiveness and a fresh start in pre-sentencing apology letter

Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate. Image includes combined content which may include AI-generated content.

Binance‘s co-founder and former CEO, Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao, submitted a letter of apology to the court on April 24.

Zhao, who pleaded guilty to criminal charges earlier this year, expressed regret in advance of his upcoming sentencing date. He wrote:

“I apologize for my poor decisions and accept full responsibility.”

CZ said he recognizes that he should have introduced compliance changes at Binance at an early stage, noting that the exchange had eventually introduced “stringent” controls under his leadership.

He emphasized that he “voluntarily surrendered and took responsibility” in the current case, hoping to resolve the matter before the court so he can “try again.”

CZ wrote::

“Rest assured that [this] will never happen again. Please accept my assurance that this will be my only encounter with the criminal justice system …”

Zhao supported his request for a second chance by describing an “unconventional” career path in which he lived a simple life and returned investor money after failed startups.

Zhao also presented an altruistic side, claiming that he became involved in crypto because the area offers “inclusiveness and equal opportunity.” Zhao said that he hopes to fund small biotech labs and youth-related causes.

Letters of support

Dozens of other individuals also wrote letters of support, including family, friends, Binance employees, volunteers, and users — as well as industry and government officials.

Binance co-founder Yi He — who is also CZ’s wife — acknowledged mistakes at Binance but praised Zhao’s “fairness, integrity, and a sense of responsibility.”

She also cited Binance’s failed attempt to rescue FTX in 2022 as an incident that led Zhao to improve Binance’s privacy by making the exchange’s own addresses transparent and adding other accountability features.

The collection of letters included submissions from JAN3 CEO and former Blockstream CSO Samson Mow, Bitfury Group CEO Val Vavilov, and Paxos Asia CEO Richmond Teo.

The letters collectively portray Zhao as a CEO committed to Binance and his family while living a modest life. Writers variously described Zhao as “honest,” “hard-working,” “modest,” and “disciplined.”

Only some of the letters explicitly asked for a lenient sentence, and Zhao did not ask outright for a reduced sentence in his own letter. The US Department of Justice is seeking a 36-month prison sentence and $50 million in fines against Zhao.

CZ’s sentencing is scheduled for April 30.

Mentioned in this article