Crypto News

Judge Orders CZ to Stay in the U.S. Until His Sentencing

Changpeng Zhao, the founder of cryptocurrency giant Binance, is ordered to remain in the U.S. due to flight risk concerns, despite his considerable wealth and prior agreement to return to the UAE.

In a significant turn of events, Changpeng Zhao, the founder of Binance, the largest global crypto exchange, is caught in a legal whirlwind. U.S. District Judge Richard Jones ruled that Zhao must stay in the United States, reversing an earlier decision that permitted him to return to his home in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) prior to his sentencing in February 2024.

Zhao, known as CZ, pleaded guilty to a charge of viaolating the Bank Secrecy Act. He is set to face sentencing for failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program. This plea comes with potential prison time ranging from 10 to 18 months. The situation escalated when federal prosecutors, citing Zhao’s substantial wealth and the absence of an extradition treaty between the U.S. and the UAE, argued he was a significant flight risk.

Judge Jones agreed, emphasizing the uniqueness of the case due to Zhao’s “enormous wealth” and lack of strong ties to the United States. Zhao, a Chinese-Canadian entrepreneur, had initially been released on a $175 million personal recognizance bond, including some cash in escrow and about $5 million in assets as collateral.

Zhao’s legal troubles are intertwined with the broader scrutiny Binance has faced. The company, founded by Zhao in Shanghai in 2017 and later relocated to Malta and the Cayman Islands, has been investigated for facilitating illegal transactions. Binance recently agreed to a staggering $4.3 billion fine as part of its plea deal for violating anti-money laundering and money transmitter rules. This agreement marked a pivot for Binance, with Zhao stepping down as CEO last month.

Prosecutors highlighted that Zhao, 45, could sustain financial losses from forfeiting his bond and collateral, arguing that the UAE government might protect him from U.S. extradition efforts due to his citizenship and residency status there. On the other hand, Zhao’s defense team stressed his willingness to face charges, arguing that uprooting his family for the February sentencing was unnecessary.

The case reflects the volatile intersection of cryptocurrency and legal regulation. Zhao’s situation is a stark reminder of the high stakes involved in the burgeoning crypto industry. It underscores the challenges faced by industry leaders navigating complex international legal frameworks, especially in the absence of cohesive global regulatory standards.

For now, Zhao is bound to U.S. soil, his fate pending in a judicial decision that could have far-reaching implications for him and the crypto industry at large. This development is a significant twist in an industry already rocked by crypto’s uncertain legal status and the ongoing debates surrounding digital currency regulation.


Greetings, I go by the name of Flavien - a devoted supporter of cryptocurrency and a tech aficionado who has been keeping track of the developments in the world of blockchain and digital currencies since 2019. The potential of decentralized digital currencies to revolutionize our financial systems has captivated me, and I'm constantly exploring the most recent trends and advancements in this ever-evolving industry. As a content creator for Krypto Channel, my aim is to deliver informative and engaging articles that shed light on all aspects of the crypto world. Whether you're a seasoned investor or simply curious about blockchain technology, I am here to keep you updated on the latest happenings and trends. Being part of this lively and dynamic community is an honor, and I am thrilled to share my passion for cryptocurrency and blockchain with all of you.
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