Binance Founder’s Travel Plea Denied Despite $4.5 Billion Security Offer


A
federal judge rejected a travel request from the Founder of Binance, Changpeng
“CZ” Zhao, to visit his home in the United Arab Emirates for the
“hospitalization and surgery” of an undisclosed individual. This
decision comes despite Zhao offering to post his Binance equity, valued at $4.5
billion, as security for his return to the United States.

In
November, Zhao pleaded guilty in a Seattle federal court to failing to maintain
an effective anti-money laundering program at Binance. As part of the case,
Binance agreed to pay $4.3 billion in penalties. Zhao, who stepped down as the CEO
due to his plea, is scheduled to be sentenced on February 23, remaining free in
the US on a $175 million release bond.

In
a letter dated December 22 to Judge Richard Jones, Zhao’s lawyers requested
permission for him to travel to Abu Dhabi on January 4 for a period of one to
four weeks. The purpose of the travel was to be present for the
hospitalization, surgery, and subsequent recovery period of an individual whose
identity remains redacted. However, federal prosecutors did not consent to
Zhao’s request.

Judge
Denies Travel Bid: Cites ‘Enormous Wealth’ and Flight Risk

Judge
Jones, in a closed hearing on December 29, denied Zhao‘s bid to travel. This
decision followed a similar rejection in December earlier, where Judge Jones
cited Zhao’s “enormous wealth” as a significant
flight risk
, expressing concern about his ties to the UAE and family residing
there.

“The
defendant has enormous wealth and property abroad, and no ties to the United
States. His family resides in the UAE, and it appears that he has favored
status in the UAE,” wrote Judge Jones in a six-page order on December 7.
“Under these circumstances, the Court finds that the defendant has not
established by clear and convincing evidence that he is not likely to flee if
he returns to the UAE.”

A
federal judge rejected a travel request from the Founder of Binance, Changpeng
“CZ” Zhao, to visit his home in the United Arab Emirates for the
“hospitalization and surgery” of an undisclosed individual. This
decision comes despite Zhao offering to post his Binance equity, valued at $4.5
billion, as security for his return to the United States.

In
November, Zhao pleaded guilty in a Seattle federal court to failing to maintain
an effective anti-money laundering program at Binance. As part of the case,
Binance agreed to pay $4.3 billion in penalties. Zhao, who stepped down as the CEO
due to his plea, is scheduled to be sentenced on February 23, remaining free in
the US on a $175 million release bond.

In
a letter dated December 22 to Judge Richard Jones, Zhao’s lawyers requested
permission for him to travel to Abu Dhabi on January 4 for a period of one to
four weeks. The purpose of the travel was to be present for the
hospitalization, surgery, and subsequent recovery period of an individual whose
identity remains redacted. However, federal prosecutors did not consent to
Zhao’s request.

Judge
Denies Travel Bid: Cites ‘Enormous Wealth’ and Flight Risk

Judge
Jones, in a closed hearing on December 29, denied Zhao‘s bid to travel. This
decision followed a similar rejection in December earlier, where Judge Jones
cited Zhao’s “enormous wealth” as a significant
flight risk
, expressing concern about his ties to the UAE and family residing
there.

“The
defendant has enormous wealth and property abroad, and no ties to the United
States. His family resides in the UAE, and it appears that he has favored
status in the UAE,” wrote Judge Jones in a six-page order on December 7.
“Under these circumstances, the Court finds that the defendant has not
established by clear and convincing evidence that he is not likely to flee if
he returns to the UAE.”





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