News - Prosecutor wants to prevent Changpeng Zhao from leaving the country

By Mike Hesp

Prosecutor wants to prevent Changpeng Zhao from leaving the country

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Binance founder Changpeng Zhao awaits sentencing in February 2024. The United States Attorney's Office is now asking: will he come back for it?

The U.S. Attorney's Office wants to prevent the founder and former head of the crypto exchange Binance, Changpeng "CZ" Zhao, U.S. exits.

A motion filed Nov. 22 in a Seattle federal court called for a review and reversal of a judge's decision that allowed Zhao to return to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on condition of $175 million bail. The condition is that the ex-Binance CEO return to the U.S. two weeks before his sentencing in February 2024.

According to the document, Zhao "faces an unacceptable risk of flight and failure to appear if he is allowed to leave the United States pending sentencing."

Because the United Arab Emirates does not have an extradition treaty with the US, the government cannot guarantee his return, it further said.

"He has three young children and a partner in the United Arab Emirates; once in the United Arab Emirates and faced with the prospect of traveling back to the United States to spend up to 18 months in prison, he may choose to simply stay in the United Arab Emirates with his family."

In Dubai, where Zhao lives, he also has many financial resources.

It was also argued that the bail amount was insufficient.

On Tuesday, Binance reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice on a $4.3 billion settlement. The CFTC's case against the crypto exchange will be dismissed, while charges of money laundering and conspiracy to violate U.S. law remain pending.

Part of the deal is a case against Changpeng Zhao. The maximum sentence is 10 years in prison. Zhao wants to stipulate 18 months.

Richard Teng has replaced Zhao as CEO of the crypto exchange.

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