Last month, Changpeng Zhao, the founder of the cryptocurrency exchange Binance, faced a setback when a federal judge denied his request to travel to the United Arab Emirates.
Binance Founder CZ Travel Appeal Rejected Despite 4.5 Billion Dollars Equity Holdings
Despite CZ proposing to utilize his significant $4.5 billion stake in Binance as collateral, citing the company’s valuation from its last fundraising round two years ago, the judge still turned down the request.
Zhao Seeks Authorization for Travel
n November, Zhao admitted guilt in a Seattle federal court for the failure to uphold an effective anti-money laundering program at Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. In response, Binance agreed to pay $4.3 billion in penalties related to the case.
Following his guilty plea, Zhao resigned as CEO, and his sentencing is set for February 23. Despite the plea, Zhao has remained free in the U.S. on a $175 million release bond. His legal team submitted a letter to Judge Jones requesting permission for him to travel to Abu Dhabi from January 4 for a duration of one to four weeks.
Worries Regarding the Potential for Flight
Judge Jones’ recent refusal came after a prior denial of another request for Zhao to travel to the UAE in December. The Judge justified the decision, citing Zhao’s “significant wealth” as a substantial risk for flight. In an order issued on December 7, Judge Jones mentioned that Zhao’s family resides in the UAE, indicating a potential favored status there.
Expressing concerns, the Judge noted that Zhao had not provided clear and convincing evidence to demonstrate that he would not likely flee if permitted to return to the UAE. Despite the denial, Zhao remains without bond, with the condition that he cannot leave the United States.