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  • Writer's pictureJamal Saafir

Judge Denies Binance’s Former CEO Changpeng Zhao From Leaving the United States Prior To Sentencing

According to a report from The Daily HODL, a judge has ruled that former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) is a flight risk and has barred him from exciting the US until his sentencing this coming February.

In a new court filing, Magistrate Judge Brian Tsuchida decided in favor of the prosecution, who argued that Zhao’s wealth and citizenship with other nations that lack extradition laws with the United States such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) made him a flight risk. 

In his ruling, Tsuchida notes that Zhao is restricted from returning to the UAE, but the other conditions of this bail shall remain intact. Furthermore, “As relief, the government requests that Mr. Zhao be required to remain in the continental United States in the period between his plea and sentencing. After reviewing the parties’ briefs, the relevant case law, and the record, the Court finds that oral argument is unnecessary.”

Nonetheless, Judge Tsuchida made clear that Zhao was not barred from leaving the country solely based on his citizenship.

“To be clear, the Court is not making this determination upon the defendant’s alienage or citizenship. The Court recognizes that although a defendant may be from a different country that alone does not point conclusively to a determination that a defendant poses a serious risk of flight. It is the combined facts of the defendant’s circumstances that pose the risk of nonappearance.”

In November, Zhao contended that he should be allowed to return to the UAE as he’s already pled guilty, is without a prior criminal record, has not committed a violent crime, and has successfully posted bail. At first, Zhao was able to win the favor of the judge.

Last month, Zhao pleaded guilty to failing to maintain adequate anti-money laundering protocols and resigned from his position as CEO of Binance. The crypto exchange agreed to pay a $4.3 billion fine to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

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