Zhao Dong China’s OTC King has plead guilty to money laundering! Zhao Dong is expected to be handed a sentence of up to three years in prison after he plead guilty in Hangzhou court.
Zhao was charged with China’s equivalent of money laundering and operating without a money service business license. At one point, he was labeled a Bitcoin billionaire. He and 11 others were linked to a money laundering syndicate.
Zhao’s crypto exchange and lending platform is called RenrenBit, and is still in operation. The platform is one of China’s top OTC crypto trading desks, facilitating exchange between local currency and crypto.
RenrenBit exists in a legal gray area – China outlawed centralized crypto exchanges in 2017. He also has ties to Bitfinex, where he’s a shareholder. He also helped create Tether’s Yuan-pegged stable coin.
News shared on social media say that Zhao was detained in 2020 and arrested on July 18th of 2020.
RenrenBit refuted claims that Zhao was arrested last year. Zhao Peng was connected to Zhao through a company called Tian Tian, a platform used allegedly for illegally exchanging crypto into fiat currency.
Zhao was also involved in an app called “Everyday Up”, which police say settled digital cash for gambling sites overseas. Gambling is illegal in China.
Zhao is accused of using Tian Tian and Everyday Up to wash funds equivalent to 3.1 billion RMB ($480 million USD). He was reportedly paid 70% on the OTC activities related to that money.
Police held Zhao under arrest without publicly charging him for nearly a year. His sentencing, however, is expected within days.
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