The former CEO of Binance, Changpeng Zhao, is set to be sentenced in February 2024, and U.S. prosecutors have moved to have him stay in the country until then. Zhao just pled guilty to a charge of violating the Bank Secrecy Act, which is why this request is being made. A settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) included Zhao’s resignation as CEO of Binance. Zhao is a dual citizen of Canada and the United Arab Emirates. Binance will pay $4.3 billion in fines for sanctions and anti-money laundering infractions and will withdraw from the US market as part of the settlement. After pleading guilty, Zhao was first freed on a bail of $175 million.
Based on the “substantial risk of flight posed by Zhao,” the prosecution has asked that he not be allowed to return to the UAE until his sentence on February 23, 2024. Following his guilty plea, Zhao was arrested and later freed on a bail of $175 million. The former CEO of Binance is being held on charges of flight risk, according to the prosecution. They claim that he is a “non-U.S. but UAE citizen with substantial wealth outside the United States, minimal ties to the United States, and a residence in a country without an extradition treaty with the United States.”
After posting $15 million to a trust account, signing a $175 million personal recognizance bond, and locating guarantors who each contributed extra monies, Zhao is now free to depart the United States according to the conditions of his bond arrangement. Prosecutors said in their brief on Wednesday that this is inadequate. They said that the $175 million bond couldn’t be obtained without Zhao’s return to the United States, since the majority of his assets are located outside of the nation. They also claimed that Zhao’s riches would allow him to easily repay the remaining money.
The defense team representing Zhao said at a Tuesday hearing that their client and his family would be unduly burdened if he were ordered to remain in the United States prior to punishment. Until his sentence in February, which is many months after Tuesday’s hearing, he and his family are unable to go to the United States.
Unless the court decides to revisit the ruling by 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on November 27, Zhao may return to the UAE on the appearance bail, as previously determined by Magistrate Judge Brian Tsuchida. The possibility of Zhao to return to the UAE before his sentence is still up in the air, but his attendance at the court date in February 2024 is of the utmost importance.