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U.S. prosecutors aim to block former Binance CEO CZ’s exit over flight risk

TL;DR

  • U.S. prosecutors worry CZ’s departure may pose a flight risk due to ties in the UAE.
  • Inadequate bond and overseas wealth complicate legal battle for former Binance CEO.
  • Cryptocurrency industry remains resilient despite high-profile legal developments.

United States government prosecutors have voiced concerns over the potential flight risk of former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, commonly known as CZ. In a filing to a Seattle federal court in November they requested a review and overturn of a judge’s decision to allow Zhao to return to his home in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on a $175 million bond under the condition that he returns to the U.S. two weeks before his scheduled sentencing in February 2024.

Flight risk concerns

The U.S. prosecutors argue that Zhao “presents an unacceptable risk of flight and nonappearance if he is allowed to leave the United States pending sentencing.” Their concerns center around Zhao’s connections and favored status in the UAE and the absence of an extradition treaty between the UAE and the U.S.

Zhao, who has three young children and a partner in the UAE, might opt to stay there instead of returning to face up to 18 months in prison in the United States. Prosecutors contend that Zhao’s significant wealth, primarily held outside of U.S. jurisdiction, would enable him to live indefinitely in the UAE.

CZ’s Inadequate bond and overseas wealth

The U.S. government further argues that the $175 million bond used to secure Zhao’s release is insufficient. A significant portion of this sum is beyond the reach of U.S. authorities. Zhao recently admitted to failing to maintain an effective Anti-Money Laundering program at Binance, leading to his resignation as CEO and a $50 million fine as part of a plea agreement.

This legal battle involving CZ has captured the attention of the cryptocurrency industry and the broader financial world. Industry experts and observers have seen the recent settlement between Binance and the Justice Department as a positive development for the crypto industry, as it contributes to further legitimizing the sector in the U.S.

Moreover, the cryptocurrency markets have demonstrated resilience in the face of this high-profile case. Total market capitalization has swiftly rebounded to pre-Binance news levels, reaching $1.48 trillion during the Thursday morning Asian trading session.

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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Lacton Muriuki

Lacton is an experienced journalist specializing in blockchain-based technologies, including NFTs and cryptocurrency. He dabbles in daily crypto news rich with well-researched stats. He adds aesthetic appeal, adding a human face to technology.

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