The criminal sentencing of Changpeng Zhao, the Founder and former CEO of Binance, for his conviction on money laundering, has been delayed until April 30, according to a notice yesterday (Monday) in Seattle federal court.
However, the court docket entry did not specify any reason for the delay in the sentencing. The original sentencing was scheduled for February 23, as Zhao faces about 18 months in prison.
CZ’s Sentencing Postponed
Zhao pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering last November and agreed to step down from the role of CEO at Binance as a part of the plea deal. He further paid $50 million personally in penalty for compliance lapses.
Meanwhile, Binance settled with the US Department of Justice, paying over $4.3 billion, and agreed to terminate all operations in the country. The exchange paid an additional $2.85 billion to settle with the US commodities regulator. However, it is still fighting the Securities and Exchange Commission in court.
Prosecutors Are Pushing for a Harsher Sentencing
While each count of money laundering charges contains up to 20 years imprisonment, Zhao only faces 18 months due to his plea deal. However, the federal prosecutors are pushing to make the sentencing harsher.
“The defense claims that Mr. Zhao faces merely a 'brief' sentence and has no incentive to flee. The reality is that the top-end of the Guidelines range may be as high as 18 months, and the United States is free to argue for any sentence up to the statutory maximum of ten years,” an earlier filing by the prosecution noted.
While awaiting sentencing, Zhao received bail on a $175 million bond. However, he was denied travel outside the United States as the prosecutors pointed out “flight risk” as he resides in the United Arab Emirates, a country without any extradition treaty with the US. The judge also cited the “enormous wealth” when denying his plea to travel outside the US. Zhao even pledged his equity at Binance for permission to travel but failed.This article was written by Arnab Shome at www.financemagnates.com.
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