US Prosecutors Urge Court to Keep Binance’s Ex-CEO in the Country Amid Flight Risk Concerns

In the aftermath of the settlement between the U.S. Department of Justice and Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, federal authorities are insisting that Changpeng Zhao (CZ), the exchange's former CEO, remain in the United States until his sentencing in February 2024.

Justice Department Seeks to Restrict Ex-Binance CEO's Travel Before Sentencing

A recent court filing has revealed that U.S. prosecutors have requested Magistrate Judge Brian Tsuchida to ensure that Changpeng Zhao (CZ) continues to stay in the United States. This request, made on Wednesday, aims to reevaluate the bond conditions that were set on November 21, 2023. The U.S. government expresses concerns about CZ being a "significant flight risk."

The filed document explicitly states:

[The Government] requests that the court order that Zhao should not be permitted to return to the UAE before sentencing.

Currently residing in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), CZ lives with his three children and partner. The prosecutors argue that the possibility of an 18-month jail term might entice CZ to stay in the UAE with his family. The absence of an extradition treaty between the UAE and the U.S. complicates matters, making it difficult to ensure his return in case he fails to comply with court directives.

Despite an initial agreement on a $175 million bail bond, prosecutors are now questioning its adequacy. Under the proposed arrangement, "three responsible persons" were supposed to secure $15 million in cash as part of the bail. While CZ faces the potential for imprisonment, there is still a chance to avoid it, similar to the former CEO of Bitmex, Arthur Hayes.

Hayes, who violated the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) by failing to establish an anti-money laundering (AML) protocol at Bitmex, faced a potential five-year prison sentence. However, as a first-time offender, he was granted two years of probation instead of imprisonment. Hayes resolved his legal troubles by paying a $10 million fine for his offenses.

What is your opinion on the prosecutor's concerns about CZ being a flight risk? Please share your thoughts and opinions on this matter in the comments section below.


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By: Jamie Redman
Title: US Prosecutors Urge Court to Keep Binance’s Ex-CEO in the Country Amid Flight Risk Concerns
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Published Date: Fri, 24 Nov 2023 02:00:03 +0000

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