- Former Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao remains remanded in the United States.
- A federal judge thwarted CZ’s most recent attempt to return to the UAE.
- The Binance founder is awaiting trial, scheduled to commence in February.
The indictment of Changpeng “CZ” Zhao by the U.S. Department of Justice on several criminal charges resulted in his confinement within the United States, following prosecutors’ arguments that he posed a flight risk. Since then, the ex-Binace CEO has made multiple efforts to facilitate his return home, all of which have proven unsuccessful.
In his latest attempt, CZ went above and beyond to convince the U.S. judge that his return to the United States could be guaranteed, only to face rejection again.
CZ’s $4.3B Collateral Rejected
According to a newly-unsealed motion in the US District Court of the Western District of Washington, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao attempted to use his stake in Binance.US to secure permission for temporary travel to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Filed on December 22, 2023, the motion was centered on CZ’s desire to travel to UAE for the “hospitalization and surgery” of a family member, with a requested travel period of one to four weeks.
Zhao expressed his willingness to offer his equity in Binance.US as collateral, valuing it at $4.5 billion based on a funding round two years prior. However, his pleas again fell on deaf ears and were rejected in a closed hearing on December 29.
Judge Jones had previously ruled that Zhao posed a flight risk and is unlikely to return to the United States if permitted to leave. The nonexistent extradition agreement between the United States and the UAE was also a key point of contention, suggesting that his influential position in his home base could facilitate potential abscondment.
Chanpeng Zhao is mandated to remain in the United States until trial, scheduled to start on February 23, 2024. The ex-Binance faces up to 10 years behind bars if convicted.
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