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Former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao begins four-month prison sentence in California

Binance founder Changpeng “CZ” Zhao has reported to a federal prison in California, where he will spend the next four months for failing to implement an adequate Know Your Customer (KYC) program at the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange.

With a net worth of $36.5 billion (according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index), Zhao is considered the richest person ever imprisoned in the United States.

In addition to his sentence, Zhao was fined $50 million and agreed to step down as CEO of Binance. Binance, which pleaded guilty to money laundering and sanctions violations at the same time as Zhao, settled the charges earlier this year with $4.3 billion in fines to various federal regulators and the appointment of an independent compliance monitor.

Lompac II, where Zhao will serve his short sentence as inmate 88087-510, is a low-security prison in Santa Barbara County on California's central coast. It currently houses 2,160 inmates, according to Bureau of Prisons records.

Conditions at the prison – where some inmates work on an adjacent farm, growing fruit and vegetables and working with cows and horses – are in stark contrast to the notoriously dangerous facility currently holding former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried in New York, who was sentenced to 25 years in prison earlier this year.