Binance co-founder and former CEO Changpeng Zhao is an “unacceptable risk of flight,” said the DoJ in a filing.

Binance Founder CZ is a Flight Risk, Claims the DoJ

  • Binance co-founder and former CEO Changpeng Zhao is an “unacceptable risk of flight,” said the DoJ in a filing.
  • The prosecutors seek to keep CZ in the US until his sentencing on February 23, 2024.
  • A judge approved a $175 million bail bond, allowing the businessman to return to his residence in the UAE.
  • Prosecutors argued that if CZ leaves, it would not be possible for the US government to make him come back.

Changpeng Zhao, also known as CZ in the digital asset space and the co-founder and former CEO of leading crypto exchange Binance, is a flight risk and should stay in the United States, claims the Department of Justice (DoJ). The crypto entrepreneur pleaded guilty to a violation of the Bank Secrecy Act earlier this week. 

On November 22, US prosecutors requested a review and overturn of a judge’s decision as per a Seattle federal court filing. The decision allows the former Binance chief executive to return to his home in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on a $175 million bail bond. However, a major condition for the bond was that Zhao should return to the United States 14 days prior to his sentencing on February 23, 2024. 

In a proposed order, which can be viewed via PACER, the US prosecutors seek to keep Zhao in the US until the day of sentencing, claiming that the former Binance executive “presents an unacceptable risk of flight and nonappearance if he is allowed to leave the United States pending sentencing.”

Additionally, in a letter, the prosecutors also noted that if CZ leaves the United States and decides not to return 14 days prior to his sentencing in February 2024, the government “would not be able to secure his return.” The prosecutors pointed out that the Binance co-founder has strong ties and favored status with the UAE, and the two countries do not have an extradition treaty.

“He has three young children and a partner in the UAE; once in the UAE and faced with the prospect of traveling back to the United States to face up to 18 months in prison, he may elect to instead simply stay in the UAE with his family,” said the prosecutors.

The prosecutors also noted that Zhao could easily live with all his wealth in the UAE because most of his assets are situated out of the reach of the United States government and, as a result, cannot be frozen.

As reported earlier by BitcoinWisdom, Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson shared his thoughts in a YouTube video on Wednesday, November 22, calling the US government’s takedown of Zhao the “end of an era.” He believes that crypto entrepreneurs will now be required to comply forcefully to operate in the US.

During a statement given to the judge, Zhao said that he was scared because it was his first time in a court adding that he has never been a criminal. He also said that he has full intentions to come back to the US and close the issue. 

After hearing the Binance co-founder’s side, the judge said, “there’s been no one that I have released that did not present some kind of risk of flight, including people who actually face many, many more years than you who still show up,” while adding: 

“I think that your actions maybe speak louder than the worries in the sense that you had no obligation to come to the country, you did. And as you said, your intent is you would like to resolve this case, not run. And, and so I think we’ll, we’ll, we’ll allow you to live at UAE, you’ll reside at a residence that you’ll maintain and let your lawyers know and don’t change until you let your lawyers know.”

Parth Dubey Verified

A crypto journalist with over 3 years of experience in DeFi, NFT, metaverse, etc. Parth has worked with major media outlets in the crypto and finance world and has gained experience and expertise in crypto culture after surviving bear and bull markets over the years.

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