The founder of Binance, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, has been told by a federal judge to stay in the US until his sentence in February.
Richard Jones, the judge, was worried that Zhao might try to escape, especially if he went back to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where he lives now. Zhao must stay in the U.S. until his sentence on February 23, 2024. The order, which was made on December 7 in a Seattle district court, came after Zhao pleaded guilty to money laundering on November 21.
Zhao has a lot of money and land in other countries, and he doesn’t seem to have any ties to the United States. This, according to Judge Jones, makes him a possible flight risk. Zhao’s family lives in the UAE, and the judge said that he seems to have good connections there. The court said Zhao did not show by clear and convincing proof that he would not run away if he was allowed to return to the UAE.
Zhao is currently under a $175 million bond, most of which is made up of assets that are not controlled by the government. Even though the terms of his bond say he can travel anywhere in the U.S. and have family visit, Judge Jones thought these conditions didn’t really limit Zhao’s freedom.
This happened after Zhao’s guilty plea on December 6, in which he agreed not to appeal any term up to 18 months. Binance and Zhao agreed to pay U.S. officials $4.3 billion in November to settle charges of running an illegal money-transfer business and breaking the Bank Secrecy Act. This led to the guilty plea.
Zhao quit as CEO of Binance because of the deal.