CZ released on $175 million bond as court confirms sentencing date


  • Former Binance CEO CZ has been released after securing a $175 million bond as the court confirms his sentencing date.
  • Landmark settlement and regulatory ripple effects.

In a significant twist of events, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, the founder, and former CEO of Binance, has been released from custody after securing a substantial $175 million personal recognizance bond. This follows Zhao’s admission of guilt to charges related to violating the Bank Secrecy Act. Federal officials had accused him of directing Binance to allow U.S. customers access to the platform without proper know-your-customer or anti-money laundering checks.

Court filing confirms CZ’s sentencing date

As outlined in a court filing, CZ is providing $15 million from a trust account held by Davis Wright Tremaine, a separate entity from the bond. Additionally, he has agreed to forfeit funds if he breaches the terms of his release. Zhao is also obligated to secure two guarantors, pledging $250,000 and $100,000, respectively. The sentencing hearing is scheduled for February 23, 2024, at 9 a.m. Pacific Time. A bond document filed in a Seattle federal court on November 21 details Zhao’s commitment to disclose his residence to the court.

The document noted a potential issuance of a warrant for his arrest if he fails to appear on the specified court date. Failure to appear carries severe consequences, including a $250,000 fine and a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail. Release conditions mandate that Zhao adhere to standard provisions, such as refraining from breaking the law, tampering with witnesses or victims, and avoiding non-prescribed controlled substances. Importantly, the order appears to permit Zhao to leave the U.S., with the condition that he must return 14 days before his sentencing.

Landmark settlement and regulatory ripple effects

Federal prosecutors also expressed their intention to appeal this provision to a higher-ranking judge during an earlier hearing. In the plea agreement, CZ waived his right to appeal any sentence exceeding 18 months, according to Magistrate Judge Brian Tsuchida. A court filing further reveals that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Zhao have reached a settlement involving a $50 million fine, with no mention of prison time. CZ’s resignation from Binance, the cryptocurrency exchange he founded in 2017, is a pivotal component of the company’s settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, announced on Tuesday.

As part of this resolution, Binance is set to pay a substantial $4.3 billion in penalties to various federal agencies. Moreover, the agreement permits the appointment of multiple monitors to oversee Binance’s operations for the next five years. In addition to the DOJ, Binance resolved charges with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC), and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. These agencies respectively represent the U.S.’s money laundering watchdog, sanctions watchdog, and federal commodities regulator.

During a press conference, Attorney General Merrick Garland underscored the significance of this settlement, noting that it represents one of the largest penalties ever obtained from a corporate defendant in a criminal matter. The far-reaching regulatory actions against Binance and its founder signal an era of heightened scrutiny and accountability for major players in the cryptocurrency industry. The unfolding events surrounding Binance and Changpeng Zhao serve as a stark reminder of the evolving landscape of cryptocurrency regulations. It also shows the increasing emphasis on compliance within the industry.

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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Owotunse Adebayo

Adebayo loves to keep tab of exciting projects in the blockchain space. He is a seasoned writer who has written tons of articles about cryptocurrencies and blockchain.

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