Ex-Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao: A flight Risk, DOJ asserts


  • The U.S. DOJ labels ex-Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao a “manageable flight risk,” barring him from leaving the U.S. before sentencing.
  • Binance pleads guilty to charges, agreeing to a $4.3 billion settlement ami Zhao’s legal troubles.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has labeled Changpeng Zhao, the former CEO of Binance, as a “manageable flight risk.” This designation comes as Zhao, who recently pleaded guilty to breaking anti-money laundering laws in the U.S., faces impending sentencing. The DOJ’s position is nuanced: while they have stopped short of seeking his detention until sentencing, they are firmly opposed to him leaving the United States.

Changpeng Zhao, a non-U.S. citizen holding passports from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Canada, has expressed his desire to leave the country. However, U.S. attorneys have raised concerns over the severity of the charges against him and the potential sentence, arguing that these factors significantly increase the likelihood of Zhao not returning to the U.S. if permitted to leave. Their concerns are heightened because the UAE, where Zhao is a citizen, does not have an extradition treaty with the United States.

Legal troubles and Binance’s settlement

The case against Changpeng Zhao is part of the legal actions against Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume. The exchange itself has pleaded guilty to multiple criminal and civil charges. As part of its settlement, Binance has agreed to pay $4.3 billion in penalties, marking one of the largest corporate fines in the history of the U.S. Department of Justice. This settlement led to Zhao stepping down as CEO of the company.

In contrast to the DOJ’s apprehensions, Zhao’s counsel has argued that his voluntary return to the U.S. to appear before the court demonstrates a lack of flight risk. They cited his intent to resolve the case and the significant bail package he proposed as further evidence of his commitment to comply with legal proceedings. However, the U.S. attorneys remain unconvinced, emphasizing the potential severity of Zhao’s sentence, which could be as high as ten years, and his minimal ties to the U.S.

Zhao’s legal troubles and the DOJ’s stance on his flight risk status have significant implications for the cryptocurrency industry. The stringent approach taken by U.S. authorities highlights the increasing regulatory scrutiny that the sector is facing, particularly concerning compliance with anti-money laundering laws. 


As Zhao awaits his sentencing, the crypto world watches closely. The outcome of this case will decide the fate of one of the industry’s most prominent figures. But for now, Zhao remains in the United States, his future uncertain as the DOJ maintains its stance on his flight risk. 

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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Damilola Lawrence

Damilola is a crypto enthusiast, content writer, and journalist. When he is not writing, he spends most of his time reading and keeping tabs on exciting projects in the blockchain space. He also studies the ramifications of Web3 and blockchain development to have a stake in the future economy.

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