A U.S. Court has approved a settlement against Binance and its former CEO Changpeng Zhao, ordering them to pay a combined $2.7 billion in fines to the U.S. Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
A press release shared by the CFTC on Monday disclosed that the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois court found Binance had violated the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and CFTC regulations.
Binance would have to pay $1.35 billion in penalties to the CFTC and refund another $1.35 billion for its alleged “ill-gotten transaction fees.” Zhao himself is liable to pay $150 million in a separate penalty.
The presiding Judge Manish S. Shah also ruled that Binance’s former Chief Compliance Officer Samuel Lim to pay a $1.5 million penalty for “aiding and abetting Binance’s violations” of U.S. laws.
The order will also require Binance to provide proof that its compliance controls have been improved. The exchange will have to offboard all the accounts that fail to meet its KYC standards and implement a corporate governance structure that includes a Board of Directors with independent members, a Compliance Committee, and an Audit Committee.
Meanwhile, Zhao, who stepped down from his role as CEO late last month, has been ordered to remain in the U.S. until his February sentencing date. Zhao’s resignation came as part of a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), where the firm agreed to a $4.3 billion fine to resolve a criminal investigation.
However, the legal battle between Binance and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) still remains unresolved, with lawyers for the two parties going back and forth over the last few weeks over a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.