Ex-Binance CEO Could Be Sentenced To 10 Years In Prison, According To DOJ

Ex-Binance CEO Could Be Sentenced To 10 Years In Prison, According To DOJ

In a recent development, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has suggested that Changpeng Zhao (CZ), the founder of Binance, could potentially face up to ten years in prison as a result of his exchange’s historic legal settlement. This statement from the DOJ has come amid an ongoing debate about whether CZ poses a “flight risk” and whether he should be required to remain in the United States while on bail. CZ’s legal team has argued that his sentence will be relatively brief, providing no incentive for him to flee. However, the DOJ has indicated that the actual sentence might be much longer than CZ’s attorneys claim.

According to the Department of Justice, they expressed that the upper limit of the Guidelines range might extend to 18 months, and the U.S. has the flexibility to advocate for a sentence anywhere within the statutory maximum of ten years. This information was disclosed in their filing released on Friday evening.

During CZ’s plea hearing last week, Magistrate Judge Brian Tsuchida granted him release from custody on a $175 million personal recognizance bond. Additionally, CZ was allowed to spend his term in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) until 14 days prior to his sentencing, scheduled for February 23, 2024, with this change taking effect on Monday at 5 pm ET.

DOJ prosecutors raised concerns about the efficiency of the bond agreement, contending that they might not be able to secure the bond if CZ were to leave the country, as most of his assets are located outside the United States.

In response, CZ’s attorneys argued that forcing him to remain in the United States would prevent him from looking after his family and spending time with them before his sentencing. However, the DOJ pointed out that this could actually increase the likelihood of CZ attempting to evade authorities, making his sentence more significant.

The DOJ also highlighted the fact that CZ has fewer ties to the United States compared to the UAE, where he holds wealth, citizenship, and has family connections. Furthermore, the UAE lacks an extradition treaty with the United States, raising concerns about the potential difficulty in apprehending him should he choose not to return.

CZ took the step of resigning as the CEO of Binance last Wednesday after pleading guilty to charges related to anti-money laundering and sanctions violations. He received a personal fine of $50 million, while Binance itself will be compelled to pay a staggering $4.3 billion in penalties, marking the largest enforcement action ever taken against a cryptocurrency platform.


FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What were the charges against Changpeng Zhao (CZ) in the legal settlement?

CZ pleaded guilty to anti-money laundering and sanctions violations, leading to a significant fine and penalties for Binance.

What is the potential prison sentence CZ could face according to the DOJ?

The Department of Justice has suggested that CZ could potentially face up to ten years in prison, but the actual sentence might vary.

Why did CZ’s legal team argue against him staying in the United States during his bail term?

CZ’s legal team contended that staying in the United States would prevent him from taking care of his family and spending time with them before his sentencing

What was the outcome of CZ’s plea hearing?

During the plea hearing, Magistrate Judge Brian Tsuchida granted CZ release on a $175 million personal recognizance bond and allowed him to spend his term in the United Arab Emirates until just before his sentencing.

Why did the DOJ express concerns about CZ’s bond agreement?

The DOJ raised concerns about the bond agreement’s efficiency, as most of CZ’s assets are located outside the United States, potentially making it difficult to secure the bond if he were to leave the country.

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About Victor Dsouza

Victor Dsouza is Crypto Journalist. He is keen to write about crypto tokens, crypto presale, you can follow him on twitter and LinkedIn.

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