Former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao is a flight risk that can be managed if he stays in the US, said the DoJ.

Binance CEO’s Flight Risk Can Be Managed, Claims the DoJ

  • Former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao is a flight risk that can be managed if he stays in the US, said the DoJ.
  • The DoJ wants CZ in the US, adding that he is not only a citizen of the UAE but has “favored status there.”
  • The agency states that it will be impossible for the US to bring CZ back to the US if he changes his mind.
  • CZ was released on a $175 million bail bond after he voluntarily pleaded guilty.

Changpeng Zhao, also known as CZ in the digital asset sector, is a flight risk, but the threat can be managed if the former Binance chief executive stays in the United States, claims the Department of Justice (DoJ) in a new filing. The US agency argued that the crypto entrepreneur can stay out of jail, but he should remain within the boundaries of the country.

As per the new filing submitted to the court last week, the DoJ claims that CZ, the co-founder of the world’s largest crypto trading platform by market volume, is a “flight risk that could be managed.” However, the agency wants the former Binance head to remain in the US, adding that if he is “allowed to return to the UAE and then fails to appear, he may never answer for his crime.”

“Mr. Zhao has no ties to the United States. His family lives in the UAE, and he holds his wealth and property abroad, including in the UAE. Mr. Zhao is not simply a citizen of the UAE but has favored status there, having obtained citizenship by invitation,” said the DoJ filing.

Zhao has the citizenship of the United Arab Emirates and has a family residing in the Middle Eastern country. Currently, no extradition treaty exists between the US and the UAE, and therefore, the US prosecutors have argued that if CZ changes his mind and doesn’t return to the US for his sentencing on February 23, 2024, it might become impossible to catch him. 

The prosecutors pointed out the defense’s claims that the former Binance head possesses no flight risk because he is facing a merely “brief” statement. However, in the filing, the DoJ pointed out that, as per guidelines, Zhao faces a maximum of 18 months in prison, while the “United States is free to argue for any sentence up to the statutory maximum of ten years.” 

“As the defense will certainly emphasize at sentencing, Mr. Zhao has a family and has never spent a day in custody. The penalties he faces at sentencing will no doubt seem significant to him, and that weighs in favor of the reasonable restrictions the United States proposes,” read the filing. 

As reported earlier by Bitnation, the former Binance boss was released on a $175 million bail bond and voluntarily showed up in court to convey his intentions of solving the matter. In a legal document filed last week, the lawyers representing Zhao asked the court not to throw CZ behind bars, arguing that CZ voluntarily pleaded guilty while adding that he is a public figure with no criminal record.

Parth Dubey
Parth Dubey Verified Author

A crypto journalist with over 3 years of experience in DeFi, NFT, metaverse, etc. Parth has worked with major media outlets in the crypto and finance world and has gained experience and expertise in crypto culture after surviving bear and bull markets over the years.

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