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US Prosecutors Move to Block Former Binance CEO CZ’s Return to UAE Until Sentencing

Jai Pratap
Last updated: | 1 min read
Source: Youtube/Entrepreneur ME

Prosecutors are pressing a federal judge to prevent former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao from leaving the United States before his scheduled sentencing hearing on February 23, 2024.

This move comes after the $4.3 billion settlement reached by Binance with the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) and other regulators.

Following the settlement, CZ was released on a substantial $175 million personal recognizance bond.

However, on Wednesday, the Justice Department urged the judge to issue a mandate compelling Zhao to remain within the United States and not to permit his return to the United Arab Emirates until after the sentencing.

US does not have an extradition treaty with UAE

Former Binance CEO Could Still Face 18 Months in Prison

Zhao had entered a guilty plea on Tuesday for violating U.S. money laundering laws. As per the plea deal, Zhao could still face 18 months of prison time in the USA.

A spokesperson from the DoJ disclosed to Reuters that CZ would stay in the Seattle area until Monday evening, after which he might be allowed to return to his residence in the UAE.

As part of the legal arrangements, court records reveal that Changpeng “CZ” Zhao is placing $15 million into a trust account managed by Davis Wright Tremaine, separate from the bond.

He commits to forfeiting these funds if he violates release conditions and secures two guarantors who pledge $250,000 and $100,000, respectively.

Release conditions for Zhao encompass refraining from unlawful activities, non-interference with witnesses or victims, and abstaining from the use of non-prescribed controlled substances—standard provisions in a bond release.

However, the directive seems to provide Zhao with the flexibility to leave the U.S., with the stipulation to return 14 days before the scheduled sentencing.