CZ released on $175M bond, could return to Dubai


Binance founder Changpeng “CZ” Zhao will pay a $175 million release bond and agree to return to the United States 14 days before his Feb. 23, 2024 sentencing — possibly allowing him to return to Dubai.

In a Nov. 21 bond document filed in a Seattle federal court, Zhao agreed to share with the court where he would reside and that a warrant could be issued for his arrest if he fails to show up for his court date.

Failure to appear in court carries a $250,000 fine and a maximum of 10 years in jail.

Zhao posted $15 million in a trust account seperate from his bond and agreed to forfeit it if he fails to adhere to his bond conditions. It also lists two guarantors to respectively post $250,000 and $100,000.

Conditons of Zhao's bond. Source: PACER

Zhao pleaded guilty to a violation of the Bank Secrecy Act which carries an 18-month sentence, but The New York Times reported on Nov. 21 that prosecutors are open to slapping him with a longer sentence.

The U.S. is expected to review Zhao’s bail order. If a judge denies review of the order, it will become effective on Nov. 27 at 5 pm Washington time. If the judge grants a review before that date, Zhao must stay in the U.S. until a decision is made.

Related: Court unseals indictments against Binance and CZ, detailing expected guilty pleas

Zhao has been based in Dubai for several years and while no extradition agreement exists between the U.S. and the United Arab Emirates, the two countries made a bilateral agreement to enhance law enforcement cooperation on Feb. 24.

Zhao’s bond arrangements follow a $4.3 billion settlement between the cryptocurrency exchange and the U.S., which saw Zhao depart as Binance's CEO and pay a $50 million fine.

Magazine: US enforcement agencies are turning up the heat on crypto-related crime

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