Former Binance CEO’s sentencing delayed until April

The sentencing was originally scheduled for late February


Former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao’s sentencing on money laundering charges was delayed until April, according to a court notice.

The delay pushes Zhao’s sentencing back two months. He originally was set to be sentenced on Feb. 23 after pleading guilty to the charges late last year. The former executive, per sentencing guidelines, is expected to face around 18 months in prison.

A report from the New York Times late last year suggested that officials could seek a “stiffer penalty.”

Zhao stepped down from his position at Binance as part of a settlement deal with the Department of Justice. He also agreed to pay a $50 million fine.

Read more: Here are the details of Binance and Changpeng Zhao’s plea deal

Currently, Zhao is out on a $175 million bail bond. However, he’s unable to leave the US. Late last year, he asked a US court to allow him leave to visit his family in the United Arab Emirates but was denied. Zhao is a citizen of Canada and the UAE. 

According to a previously sealed December court filing, Zhao pledged his equity in Binance.US, which could be worth over $4 billion based on previous funding figures. The court denied his request because the US does not have an extradition treaty with the UAE. 

The government argued that Zhao could use his “significant assets and strong connections to the UAE,” which would “allow him to evade his obligation to return to the United States for sentencing.”

Binance paid $4.3 billion in fines and reached settlement agreements with the DOJ, Treasury, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The exchange pleaded guilty to violating money sanctions laws, conducting an unlicensed money transmitting business and anti-money laundering violations. 

Binance and Zhao “chose not to comply with US legal and regulatory requirements because it determined that doing so would limit its ability to attract and maintain US users,” the DOJ said at the time.

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