Request Made for Binance’s Changpeng Zhao to Surrender Passports Before Sentencing

Ruholamin Haqshanas

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| 2 min read

Former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao

Source: Midjourney

The United States Attorney’s Office has made a formal request to a federal judge seeking additional travel restrictions for Changpeng Zhao, commonly known as CZ, the former CEO of Binance

In a recent court filing, U.S. Attorney Tessa Gorman asked Magistrate Judge Brian Tsuchida to approve a motion that outlines the conditions for CZ’s release on bail. 

The prosecutors have requested that CZ remain within the continental United States until his sentencing hearing on April 30, and they also want him to provide a three-day notice for any travel plans to allow the government to raise objections.

Authorities Ask CZ to Surrender Passport

Furthermore, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has demanded that CZ surrender his Canadian passport, as well as any other current and expired passports and travel documents, to his legal team.

CZ holds citizenship in the United Arab Emirates, and he had previously requested permission to travel there to visit his family prior to the sentencing. However, the judge denied this request.

CZ’s legal team has expressed objections to the motion as it is currently written, indicating their intent to explore alternatives that would allow him to leave the country.

The crypto boss had previously pleaded guilty in November 2023 to one felony count related to the failure to maintain an effective Anti-Money Laundering program at Binance

He has been out on bail since then, with a bond amounting to $175 million.

In November, Zhao stepped down as CEO and pleaded guilty to an anti-money laundering violation, agreeing to pay a $50 million fine. 

Binance, as a company, also settled with the Justice Department, the Treasury Department, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and the Office of Foreign Assets Control, paying a hefty $4.3 billion in penalties.

On February 23, Judge Richard Jones approved a $1.8 billion fine and the forfeiture of $2.5 billion as part of this settlement. 

However, CZ, Binance, and Binance.US are still facing a civil case filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which initiated a lawsuit against them in June 2023.

Following CZ’s departure, Richard Teng, the former head of regional markets at Binance, assumed the role of CEO. 

Binance Pushes for Global Expansion

Last month, Binance unveiled its joint venture crypto exchange Binance Thailand, which came in collaboration with Gulf Innova, a subsidiary of Gulf Energy Development.

Binance Thailand, abbreviated as Binance TH, provides a platform for digital asset exchange services with Thai baht trading pairs.

It has also integrated with local banks in Thailand and forged a partnership with Binance Kazakhstan for brokerage services, all under the watchful supervision of Thailand’s SEC.

The exchange has also taken certain measures to fortify global cybersecurity efforts by collaborating with INTERPOL.

In a recent half-day virtual session focused on essential topics related to cryptocurrency investigations and cyber policing in the rapidly evolving Web3 space, Binance hosted over 30 officers from INTERPOL.

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