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November 22, 2023

Binance CEO Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering Charges, Steps Down

Binance founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao, also known as CZ, has officially stepped down from his role after pleading guilty to money laundering charges in the United States. The drastic decision was made as part of a $4.3 billion settlement agreement involving the charges against Zhao and his company. “Binance turned a blind eye to its legal obligations in the pursuit of profit,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Tuesday in a joint press conference with the DOJ announcing the settlement. “Its willful failures allowed money to flow to terrorists, cybercriminals, and child abusers through its platform,” Yellen said. Binance is the largest crypto exchange in the world, with Zhao being one of the most influential figures in the space.

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NFL, MLB Posteason Push Strong Month for Broadcast

Sam Altman Returns to OpenAI After Tumultuous Week

It is difficult to keep up with the drama at OpenAI. Last Friday, the company’s board ousted its founder, Sam Altman. In the wake of his departure, over two-thirds of the company’s employees signed a letter calling for the removal of the board. Altman then took a position just 48 hours later to co-lead a new AI research division at Microsoft. Elsewhere in Silicon Valley, companies like Salesforce and Microsoft extended an open-door policy for OpenAI employees looking to defect amidst the chaos. However, in the early hours Wednesday, Altman announced his return to the company “with [Microsoft CEO] Satya’s support.” The board has been revised to include Salesforce’s former co-CEO Bret Taylor and former Treasury Secretary and Harvard President Larry Summers.

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Kim K’s Investment Firm Skky Partners Lands First Acquisition in Truff

Skky Partners, the private equity firm led by Kim Kardashian and Jay Sammons, announced its first investment Tuesday: Truff, a luxury condiment brand infused with truffle. In the release, Kim K & Skky called Truff a “premium flavor-enhancement brand” and said that its “distinctive flavor, high-quality ingredients, new product innovation, and social following” have made the company an appealing candidate for capital backing. Since launching in 2017, Truff has expanded beyond its direct-to-consumer model and now sells its sauces on grocery store shelves. They’ve also collaborated with Taco Bell for a custom hot sauce and Hidden Valley for a special dressing.

Kevin Hart to Host ‘ManningCast’-inspired Show on ESPN2

ESPN2 is ordering another program that follows the “ManningCast” model, this time starring comedian Kevin Hart, Page Six reports. The alternate broadcast, hosted by Peyton and Eli Manning, airs during live coverage of Monday Night Football and has featured guests such as Patrick Mahomes and Barack Obama, to name a couple. In this new version of the broadcast, Hart, who has appeared on the ManningCast himself, will also welcome guests while watching games broadcast live simultaneously with the “serious” airing on the main ESPN network.

A Ma Maniére, Social Status Owner James Whitner Involved in Money-laundering Operation

James Whitner, founder of The Whitaker Group, has been identified in a civil forfeiture complaint detailing an international money laundering scheme worth millions of dollars. Per Complex, the 20-page suit dissects how the A Ma Maniére and Social Status owner engaged with Chinese nationals in a “trade-based money laundering” affair that revolves around Whitner’s connection with an unnamed sneaker brand based in Oregon. Whitner has not been charged but was ordered to forfeit the unreported $1,199,530 from the apartment of his business associate, Antwain Freeman, in August 2021.

London Mayor Rejects Plan To Build New MSG Sphere

London Mayor Sadiq Khan wants no part of a Sphere Arena across the pond. Per The Guardian, he rejected Madison Square Garden’s long-standing proposal to build an orb-shaped venue across the pond less than two months after the company opened its inaugural Sphere project in Las Vegas. In a statement, promoters from Madison Square Garden Entertainment acknowledged disappointment in the decision but added: “There are many forward-thinking cities that are eager to bring this technology to their communities. We will concentrate on those.”