It’s official: Former Binance CEO must stay in US until sentencing

Changpeng Zhao may be using his time in the US to meet with founders, according to posts on X

share

Former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao will remain in the US until his sentencing date, a judge ruled Thursday.

Judge Richard Jones sided with the government’s motion to prevent Zhao from returning to the United Arab Emirates — where he resides with his partner and children. Originally, Magistrate Judge Brian Tsuchida leaned towards letting Zhao return to the UAE until his sentencing hearing. 

However, Judge Jones put a temporary hold on the decision until the government could file its motion. The government, in its filing, argued that while they don’t believe that Zhao needs to be detained while he awaits sentencing, the US does not have an extradition treaty with the UAE. 

“The government contends that the absence of an extradition treaty with the UAE, combined with the defendant’s significant assets and strong connections to the UAE, would allow him to evade his obligation to return to the United States for sentencing,” the filing said. 

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

The government is also under the belief that the UAE offered Zhao citizenship and wouldn’t be inclined to extradite Zhao.

Zhao’s legal team argued that he self-surrendered to the government and took “full responsibility for past actions” with his plea agreement. He also has no prior criminal history.

The bail package, which was originally set by Judge Tsuchida and would have allowed Zhao to leave the country, is hefty but not enough to prevent Zhao from leaving and not returning, Judge Jones ruled.

Zhao’s sentencing is set for Feb. 23.

The former CEO, who has a very active presence on X, has been giving little updates on what’s next for him. Earlier this week, he posted “learning again, by meeting founders.”

When Zhao announced his resignation as part of his plea deal, he posted that he would be taking a break and then would “probably do some passive investing, being a minority token/shareholder in startups in areas of blockchain/Web3/DeFi, AI and biotech.”

“I am happy that I will finally have more time to spend looking at DeFi,” he added.

The government announced plea agreements with both Zhao and Binance at the end of November. As part of the agreement, Zhao is banned from operating or managing the exchange for a period of three years. He pleaded guilty to violating the Bank Secrecy Act. 

Binance paid a $4.3 billion settlement to the US, and pleaded guilty to operating as an unlicensed money transmitting business.

In addition to the plea agreements, Binance and Zhao still face a lawsuit from the US Securities and Exchange Commission, which claims that the exchange and its former executive commingled funds as well as offering and selling unregistered securities. 


Don’t miss the next big story – join our free daily newsletter.

Tags

Upcoming Events

Hilton Metropole | 225 Edgware Rd, London

Mon - Wed, March 18 - 20, 2024

Crypto’s premier institutional conference returns to London in March 2024. The DAS: London Experience: Attend expert-led panel discussions and fireside chats Hear the latest developments regarding the crypto and digital asset regulatory environment directly from policymakers and experts.

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Top Icon.png

Research

Osmosis thrived in H2 2023 on the back of increased DeFi activity deriving from recently launched Cosmos-related projects and better market conditions. With new value accrual mechanisms for the native token, Osmosis is well-positioned to continue its strong performance in 2024.

/

article-image

Though the opposing flow trend is likely to slow over time, industry watchers note, bitcoin fund assets could one day eclipse the $90 billion gold ETF space

article-image

Celestia had the first mover advantage. EigenDA has staked ether. What sets Avail apart?

article-image

Bitcoin moved 1% higher Monday morning in New York, Matrixport analysts say $62,000 could happen next month

article-image

It’s hard to believe right now that crypto — even with all of its flexibility and massive capabilities — could ever be like cash on the internet

article-image

Michael Saylor announced Monday morning that MicroStrategy bought 3k more bitcoin after the X account was compromised over the weekend

article-image

Plus, Pudgy Penguins grows its brand and a group of Autoglyphs sell for $14.5 million