Binance Founder CZ must stay in the U.S. ahead of prison sentencing, Federal Judge rules
Binance founder Changpeng Zhao (CZ), who recently pleaded guilty to criminal charges related to his cryptocurrency exchange, has been ordered to remain in the U.S. ahead of prison sentencing, according to a Monday ruling by a federal judge.
The judge’s order comes just a week after CZ pleaded guilty to fraud and money laundering crimes. Zhao, who secured his release on a $175 million bond last Tuesday, is set for a sentencing hearing on February 23.
Although his lawyers have requested permission for him to travel, citing his voluntary trip to the U.S. for the guilty plea, Zhao’s residence in the United Arab Emirates poses complications due to the lack of a formal extradition treaty between the UAE and the U.S.
U.S. District Court Judge Richard Jones in Seattle stated on Monday that Zhao cannot return to the UAE “until such time as this Court resolves the Government’s motion for review,” CNBC reported.
“IT IS ORDERED that the condition permitting Defendant to return to the UAE pending sentencing is STAYED until such time as this Court resolves the Government’s motion for review,” Judge Jones ruled.
As part of a $4.3 billion settlement with the Department of Justice, Zhao agreed to step down as the CEO of Binance, concluding a lengthy investigation into the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. The charges against Zhao and others included violations of the Bank Secrecy Act for not implementing an effective anti-money laundering program and willfully violating U.S. economic sanctions. The Justice Department asserted that this was a deliberate effort to profit from the U.S. market without adhering to required controls under U.S. law.
Binance will continue its operations under new regulations. The company is obligated to uphold and enhance its compliance program to align with U.S. anti-money laundering standards. Additionally, Binance must appoint an independent compliance monitor.
CZ founded Binance in 2017 with Yi He. The cryptocurrency exchange platform combines digital technology and finance. The company provides access to exchange digital currency pairs on the market while maintaining security, and liquidity, enabling a safe and efficient deal with anyone, anytime and anywhere.
Before founding Binance, CEO Changpeng Zhao previously founded Fusion Systems in 2005 in Shanghai; the company that built high-frequency trading systems for brokers. In 2013 he joined Blockchain.info as the third member of the cryptocurrency wallet’s team. He also worked at OKCoin as CTO for less than a year, a platform for spot trading between fiat and digital assets.Judge ruling