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Binance founder CZ to remain in the US until sentencing

Changpeng Zhao, known as “CZ,” the founder of Binance, has been directed by a federal judge in the United States to remain in the country until his sentencing in February. This decision aims to prevent his departure to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) due to concerns about his potential flight risk.

Seattle District Court Judge Richard Jones supported federal prosecutors’ arguments on December 7, advocating for Zhao’s presence in the U.S. until his sentencing on February 23, 2024. The judge highlighted Zhao’s substantial wealth and overseas property, coupled with his lack of ties to the United States.

Judge Jones commented, “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 favoured status in the UAE. 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,” he added.

“Based on the aforementioned reasons, the Court GRANTS the government’s motion, and the defendant shall remain in the continental United States during the period between his plea and sentencing.”

As part of the plea agreement and having resigned as Binance’s CEO, Zhao could potentially face up to a 10-year prison term. However, it is anticipated that he may receive a maximum of 18 months. Additionally, he has agreed to a $50 million fine.

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