Changpeng Zhao’s request to return home to the United Arab Emirates prior to his February sentencing for criminal charges has been denied by a U.S. federal judge for the second time.
CZ Again Ordered To Stay In U.S.
Former Binance chief Changpeng “CZ” Zhao is still not allowed to leave the United States in the months leading up to his sentencing hearing following an order from a federal judge in Seattle.
In a Friday filing, U.S. District Judge Richard Jones rejected a motion from Zhao requesting permission to fly to the UAE where his three kids with former talk-show host and Binance co-founder Yi He live.
The grounds for the second motion were sealed and did not reveal in detail CZ’s argument against the judge’s repeated efforts to limit his movements. However, CZ’s attorneys hinted it concerned “medical information regarding Mr. Zhao’s child.”
The Dec. 29 ruling marks the second time CZ has been barred from traveling to the UAE. Judge Richard Jones earlier this month agreed with U.S. prosecutors that Zhao’s massive wealth overseas and the lack of an extradition treaty between the U.S. and the UAE presented too great of a flight risk.
The Chinese-Canadian crypto mogul pleaded guilty to breaking the Bank Secrecy Act in November and stepped down as CEO of Binance, the world’s biggest digital asset exchange by trading volume. The exchange itself reached a $4.3 billion settlement tied to sanctions and money transmission violations.
After pleading guilty, the court approved CZ’s release on a hefty $175 million personal recognizance bond. The 45-year-old billionaire posted $15 million held in a trust account and had three guarantors pledge over $5 million in collateral to secure the bond.
As per the order, the embattled Zhao remains free but is forbidden from leaving the U.S. pending his fate. It’s pertinent to mention that CZ’s fortune has skyrocketed by approximately $25 billion in 2023 despite the legal turbulence. As ZyCrypto reported, his $37 billion net worth primarily comes from his controlling stake in Binance.