Changpeng Zhao, better known as CZ, the founder of Binance, has recently grappled with significant legal hurdles in the U.S. His guilty plea in a notable case led a Seattle federal judge to impose movement restrictions on him.
Former Binance Boss CZ Restricted to U.S. Soil
As the pivotal figure of Binance, CZ admitted guilt for not establishing anti-money laundering measures and breaching U.S. sanctions. His plea, which included resigning as the CEO, brought considerable repercussions for both him and the crypto exchange firm.
U.S. District Judge Richard Jones, on Thursday, reversed a previous ruling that would have permitted Zhao to travel back to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Pointing to Zhao’s substantial assets and weak connections to the U.S., Judge Jones highlighted the flight risk he poses. This decision came after Jones consented to the plea agreement between the U.S. authorities and CZ, amid Binance’s settlement process.
Judge Jones expressed that the court wasn’t persuaded by assurances that CZ wouldn’t flee if allowed to go to the UAE, a country with which the U.S. lacks an extradition agreement. Consequently, he ordered CZ to remain within the mainland U.S. until his sentencing in February 2024. CZ could face up to 18 months in prison for these offenses.
Many speculate that CZ might avoid jail time, akin to Arthur Hayes, the ex-CEO of Bitmex. Hayes received a sentence of six months of house arrest and two years probation for violating the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) by not instituting an anti-money laundering (AML) system at Bitmex. Although Hayes faced a potential prison sentence, his guilty plea and the settlement of fines helped him evade incarceration.
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