Binance founder CZ must stay in US until February sentencing, judge orders


Binance founder Changpeng “CZ” Zhao must stay in the United States until his February sentencing as he’s unlikely to return to the country if allowed to travel to the United Arab Emirates, a federal judge has ruled.

On Dec. 7, Seattle District Court Judge Richard Jones ordered Zhao to stay in the U.S. until his Feb. 23, 2024 sentencing date. He faces up to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to money laundering on Nov. 21.

“The defendant has enormous wealth and property abroad, and no ties to the United States,” Judge Jones wrote, and agreed with earlier arguments from federal prosecutors who said they “would not be able to secure his return” if Zhao decided not to come back to the U.S.

“His family resides in the UAE and it appears that he has favored 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 foregoing reason, 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.”

This is a developing story, and further information will be added as it becomes available.