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Former CEO of Binance, Changpeng Zhao, Faces Travel Restrictions in the US

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Changpeng CZ Zhao, the former CEO of Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange, is facing travel restrictions in the United States ahead of his expected sentencing early next year. Zhao pleaded guilty on Tuesday and stepped down from his position at Binance, which also pleaded guilty to criminal and civil charges related to anti-money laundering and customer recognition procedures.

Travel Restrictions and Bond Release

According to a Bond filing, Zhao has signed a $175 million personal recognizance bond and a separate $15 million cash held in a trust account for his release. The bond release would allow him to return to his home in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) before his sentencing. However, US prosecutors have ordered him to remain in the US prior to his sentencing, citing concerns about his potential flight risk and the difficulty of extraditing him from the UAE.

Sentencing Date and Flight Risk

The sentencing hearing for Zhao is scheduled for February 23, 2024. US prosecutors argue that allowing Zhao to return to the UAE would pose a flight risk, given his significant assets and strong ties to the country. They believe that it would be challenging to ensure his return for sentencing if he were allowed to leave the US.

UAE Citizenship and Asset Concerns

US prosecutors also pointed out Zhao's UAE citizenship as a potential reason for him not to return to the US. They argue that the UAE government may not easily accept a return request from the US government if Zhao chooses not to come back. Furthermore, they expressed concerns about securing the $175 million bond if Zhao were allowed to leave the US, as most of his assets are located outside of the country.

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