Former Binance CEO CZ ‘poses a serious flight risk’, prosecutors allege when asking him to stay in US

Former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) cannot be allowed to leave the United States before he is sentenced in February for violating the Bank Secrecy Act, federal prosecutors said in a lawsuit on Wednesday.

Zhao pleaded guilty and resigned from the cryptocurrency exchange he founded on Tuesday, along with Binance pleading guilty to several criminal and civil charges related to allowing US users and users from sanctioned regions to use the platform without sufficient knowledge of the client and anti-money control. Money laundering programs. Binance has agreed to pay $4.3 billion in fines, among the largest corporate fines in the history of the US Department of Justice.

in Deposit WednesdayProsecutors said that, as an Emirati citizen, Chow has “little ties to the United States” and may not return if he is allowed to leave. They noted that they were not calling for him to be imprisoned before sentencing – only that he be asked to remain in the United States. He is currently scheduled to be sentenced on February 23, 2024, and will likely face more than a year in prison, along with the charges against him. a fine.

Under the terms of the current bond agreement, Chow can leave the United States, after placing $15 million in a trust account, signing $175 million in personal guarantee bonds, and finding guarantors to provide additional funds.

That’s not enough, prosecutors said in a filing Wednesday. If Chow does not return to the United States, they will not be able to secure the $175 million bond because most of his assets are outside the country and Chow is wealthy enough to be able to repay the rest of the money without a problem. They said. There is also no extradition treaty between the UAE and the United States

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During a hearing on Tuesday, Chow’s lawyers said that being forced to remain in the United States before sentencing would be difficult for him and his family. His wife and children cannot move to the United States during the several months between Tuesday’s hearing and the ruling in February.

Judge Brian Tsuchida asked prosecutors on Tuesday whether Chow’s voluntary arrival to the United States to surrender and plead guilty meant there was no serious risk of flight.

The prosecutor said in response that there is a difference between voluntarily coming to the United States to plead guilty and doing so to face possible prison time.

Chow is currently in the US until at least November 27. If District Judge Richard Jones chooses not to review the DOJ file by 5:00 PM PT that day, Chow will be free to return to the UAE, but he must return. To the United States by February 10.

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