Changpeng Zhao may not leave the US pending court review, says judge

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Pending a motion for review filed by the U.S. government, the former Binance CEO will not be allowed to return to his home in the United Arab Emirates as he awaits sentencing.

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Changpeng Zhao may not leave the US pending court review, says judge

Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, who pleaded guilty to one felony charge as part of a settlement with the United States Department of Justice involving crypto exchange Binance, may not be permitted to leave the country as he awaits sentencing.

According to a Nov. 27 filing in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington at Seattle, Judge Richard Jones stayed a decision by a magistrate judge that would have allowed CZ to return to the United Arab Emirates, where he has family members. The judge ordered that CZ would not be permitted to travel to the UAE until a court ruled on a motion for review from the U.S. government.

Source: CourtListener

Related: Binance CEO outlines plan for crypto exchange after CZ steps down

On Nov. 21, Zhao pleaded guilty to one felony count for failure to maintain an effective Anti-Money Laundering program during his time as CEO of Binance, violating the U.S. Bank Secrecy Act. After posting a $175 million bond, he remains essentially free to travel within the U.S. until his sentencing, expected in February 2024. Under federal sentencing guidelines, CZ could face up to 18 months in prison.

CZ stepped down as CEO of Binance on Nov. 21 as part of a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, in which he pleaded guilty to one felony charge and agreed to pay $150 million to regulators. The agreement largely allowed the crypto exchange to avoid additional charges in exchange for roughly $4.3 billion in penalties.

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