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Changpeng “CZ” Zhao could be required to stay in the United States to avoid becoming a flight risk. The United States government prosecutors have said that CZ presents an unacceptable risk of flight if he is allowed to leave the States before his 2024 sentencing, set to take place in February.
In a filing to a Seattle federal court, the prosecutors requested that the judge’s decision allowing the former Binance CEO to return home to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) be overturned. The order notes that he “presents an unacceptable risk of flight and nonappearance if he is allowed to leave the United States pending sentencing.” They also said that if he was allowed to leave and decided not to return to the United States, the government would not be able to secure and facilitate his return owing to jurisdiction.
The letter states that he has ties in his home country, and without an extradition treaty with the United States, there is no reason for the UAE to send Zhao back to the States for his sentencing. In this, the prosecutors suggest blocking his departure from the United States. They also suggest that his family and home life in the UAE present a threat to his sentence:
“He has three young children and a partner in the UAE; once in the UAE and faced with the prospect of traveling back to the United States to face up to 18 months in prison, he may elect to instead simply stay in the UAE with his family.”
The “substantial” flight risk comes following a confession from the former Binance head. He states that he had failed to maintain an effective Anti-Money Laundering protocol at Binance under his supervision. With a plea agreement, he stepped down from Binance and paid a fine of $50 million.
The settlement is seen as beneficial for those in the cryptocurrency industry, with favourable regulatory proceedings spelling a positive outcome for the cryptocurrency space overall. Already, the cryptocurrency market has corrected after a dip following the news.