March 27, 2024
Binance Founder CZ's Sentencing Postponed to April
Latest Cryptocurrency News

Binance Founder CZ’s Sentencing Postponed to April

The criminal sentencing for Binance founder and former CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao has been rescheduled to April 30, as indicated by a notice filed in a Seattle Federal Court on Feb. 12. Originally set for Feb. 23, Zhao pleaded guilty to money laundering charges and could face up to 18 months in prison.

A Nov. 24 prosecution filing suggested the possibility of a harsher sentence. According to former SEC official John Reed Stark, Zhao might receive a 12–18 month sentence at a minimum security prison under U.S. guidelines. His legal team is expected to seek no jail time or an alternative sentence, combining prison time with home detention and probation.

“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.”

Zhao, currently on bail with a $175 million bond, awaits sentencing in the U.S. On Dec. 29, 2023, a federal court barred him from traveling outside the U.S., rejecting his second request to leave for Dubai ahead of trial. In an unsealed letter to Judge Richard Jones, Zhao’s lawyers revealed he offered all his equity in Binance.US as security, valued at approximately $4.5 billion based on a funding round two years ago.

Concerns about Zhao being a flight risk were raised, leading to the travel restriction. On Nov. 21, he pleaded guilty to failing to maintain an effective Anti-Money Laundering program at Binance and settled with the U.S. government for $4.3 billion. This settlement addressed allegations of allowing individuals engaged in illicit activities to transfer funds through the exchange. As part of the settlement, Zhao stepped down as Binance’s CEO.

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