Changpeng Zhao, better known as “CZ”, the founder of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, faces legal restrictions in the United States. District Judge Richard Jones, aligned with the US Department of Justice, denied CZ’s request to leave the country and return to Abu Dhabi, where his family resides. CZ had requested permission to travel before his court date, but Judge Jones rejected the request, citing concerns about possible flight before sentencing.

The decision follows prosecutors’ arguments that CZ did not provide sufficient guarantees against the possibility of escape. Despite this, he agreed to a $175 million bond. Judge Jones expressed in the court document that although the bail amount is considerable, the assets that comprise it are largely beyond the reach of the US government.

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Concerns about money laundering and escape lead to court ruling

The case against CZ and Binance centers on accusations by the US Department of Justice that the exchange failed to establish adequate anti-money laundering measures. Specifically, the indictment alleges a lack of rigor in know-your-customer (KYC) checks and other controls. This allowed Hamas-associated transactions to use the platform to launder money from illegal activities. Thus, adding up to more than 100,000 illegal transactions being carried out on Binance.

Justice Department lawyers argue that given the magnitude of the case and CZ’s financial standing, a billionaire defendant facing possible prison time in a country that does not extradite its citizens to the U.S. would normally be detained.

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CZ must now remain in the United States pending his sentencing hearing. As such, he will face less than two years in prison when he appears before Judge Jones early next year. This situation highlights the rigor of US judicial authorities in highly relevant cases involving cryptocurrencies and money laundering.


The views and opinions expressed by the author, or anyone mentioned in this article, are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment or other advice. Investing in or trading cryptocurrencies carries a risk of financial loss.


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