DOJ Asserts CZ Flight Risk in Bond Terms Dispute

The DOJ wants the court to compel CZ to stay in the continental U.S. in the period between his plea and sentencing.

Changpeng Zhao sitting on a plane wing looking up.
Created by Kornelija Poderskytė from DailyCoin
  • CZ might not be allowed to travel to the UAE after his plea deal.
  • The DOJ asserted his flight risk in the latest court filing.
  • Earlier, Judge Tsuchida cast doubt on whether CZ is a flight risk.

Despite agreeing to a $50 million fine as part of a guilty plea deal and a $175 million personal recognizance bond to secure his release from custody, Binance ex-CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao is still tormented by his legal woes in the U.S.

While ruling on CZ’s bond terms on November 21, Magistrate Judge Brian A. Tsuchida allowed the embattled former CEO to travel to the UAE, noting that he wouldn’t have entered a plea in person if he carried the risk of escaping. Notably, CZ wasn’t obliged to appear in court in person on that day.

But the Department of Justice (DOJ) doesn’t buy this.

CZ Shouldn’t Travel to the UAE Before Sentencing

In a filing dated November 22, federal prosecutors submitted that CZ should be required to stay in the U.S. between his plea and sentencing, arguing that the defendant couldn’t prove that he wouldn’t flee once allowed to return to the UAE.

Specifically, the prosecutors stated that CZ had “substantial connections” to the UAE, which led him to obtain his citizenship to the country “through extraordinary circumstances.”

According to the prosecutors, this “favored position” indicated that the UAE government would likely not accede to a U.S. government request to expel Zhao to the country for sentencing should he choose not to return as agreed.

While acknowledging the U.S. has no extradition treaty with the UAE, prosecutors submitted further grounds supporting the motion to ground CZ in the U.S., including strong family ties and a financial war chest.

CZ’s Strong Family Ties and Financial Muscle

The prosecution averred that CZ wouldn’t leave his family to travel to the U.S. and face a possible prison sentence.

“As Zhao explained during the hearing, 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 prosecution argued.

The DOJ also expressed concerns about CZ’s “significant bail package,” arguing that it was inadequate to ensure his return, given that most of the assets tied to the bond were beyond the government’s reach.

Further, the prosecution stated that CZ is a multibillionaire who could stand to lose over $20 million to compensate his guarantors and “live comfortably for the rest of his life in the UAE” should he choose to skip sentencing.

Read more about the Binance-DOJ settlement and CZ’s resignation:
Here’s What Binance’s $4B Settlement and CZ’s Resignation Means

Stay updated on how the market reacted to Binance enforcement:
Market Conflicted as CZ Quits and Binance Settles with DOJ

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Author
Brian Danga

Brian Danga, a Kenyan crypto reporter, is dedicated to delivering breaking news and updates from the cryptocurrency world. With a background as a Web3 writer and project manager, he recognizes the importance of unbiased reporting. Holding an LLB degree from the University of Nairobi, Brian's analytical skills contribute to his accurate news reporting. His personal interests include cooking, watching documentaries, reading, and engaging in intellectual discussions.