Binance founder Changpeng “CZ” Zhao has been told by a U.S. federal judge to remain in the country until his sentencing in February. The judge is concerned that allowing the former exchange CEO to return to the United Arab Emirates poses a significant risk of him fleeing.
On December 7, Judge Richard Jones in the Seattle District Court issued this order, emphasizing that Zhao, who pleaded guilty to money laundering on November 21, faces a potential prison term of up to 18 months.
Zhao has agreed not to appeal any sentence within that range. The judge noted Zhao’s substantial wealth and assets abroad, combined with a lack of ties to the United States, as factors contributing to the flight risk, aligning with arguments from federal prosecutors who expressed doubt in securing his return if he chose not to come back to the U.S.