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Binance Founder's Travel Plea Denied despite $4.5 Billion Security Offer

Finance Magnates

Cryptocoins News / Finance Magnates 40 Views

A federal judge rejected a travel request from the Founder of Binance, Changpeng "CZ" Zhao, to visit his home in the United Arab Emirates for the "hospitalization and surgery" of an undisclosed individual. This decision comes despite Zhao offering to post his Binance equity, valued at $4.5 billion, as security for his return to the United States.

A November Admission in Seattle Federal Court

In November, Zhao pleaded guilty in a Seattle federal court to failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program at Binance. As part of the case, Binance agreed to pay $4.3 billion in penalties. Zhao, who stepped down as the CEO due to his plea, is scheduled to be sentenced on February 23, remaining free in the US on a $175 million release bond.

In a letter dated December 22 to Judge Richard Jones, Zhao's lawyers requested permission for him to travel to Abu Dhabi on January 4 for a period of one to four weeks. The purpose of the travel was to be present for the hospitalization, surgery, and subsequent recovery period of an individual whose identity remains redacted. However, federal prosecutors did not consent to Zhao's request.

Judge Denies Travel Bid: Cites 'Enormous Wealth' and Flight Risk

Judge Jones, in a closed hearing on December 29, denied Zhao's bid to travel. This decision followed a similar rejection in December earlier, where Judge Jones cited Zhao's "enormous wealth" as a significant flight risk, expressing concern about his ties to the UAE and family residing there.

"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 favored status in the UAE," wrote Judge Jones in a six-page order on December 7. "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."

This article was written by Tareq Sikder at
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