Binance Founder CZ ordered by court to stay in US
Judge Richard Jones backs DOJ and orders CZ to stay in the United States.
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US District Judge Richard Jones sided with the Justice Department in requiring Changpeng Zhao, better known as “CZ,” the founder and ex-CEO of the world’s largest crypto exchange Binance CZ to remain in the country rather than return overseas ahead of the court date.
CZ requested the court handling his criminal case for permission to fly to Abu Dhabi, where his family resides to spend time with them until the time he was required to return to the USA for his sentencing. However, Judge Jones rejected the appeal.
Prosecutors argued he failed to provide adequate assurance against fleeing before his sentencing even though CZ agreed to a $175 million dollar bail bond.
“While the bail package is substantial, if not unprecedented, it is a package that appears to be largely comprised of assets beyond the government’s reach,” Judge Jones said in Thursday’s court filing.
The US Justice Department has accused Binance of failing to establish sufficient anti-money laundering measures. This alleged failure enabled terrorists associated with Hamas to use the crypto exchange for laundering money obtained from their illegal activities. Prosecutors discovered that the platform had inadequate know-your-customer (KYC) checks and other controls that allowed the criminals to conduct at least 100,000 illegal transactions on Binance.
“In the vast majority of cases, a multi-billionaire defendant who has pleaded guilty, faces possible prison time, and lives in a country that does not extradite its citizens to the United States would be detained,” Justice Department lawyers said.
The plea subjects CZ to just under two years behind bars when he faces Judge Jones early next year. In the meantime, he must reside in the US pending his sentencing hearing, as the court seeks to mitigate any potential flight risk.