The sentencing date for the founder and former CEO of the largest crypto exchange, Binance, Changpeng Zhao, has been postponed.
According to CNBC, the sentencing date has been pushed back to April 30. Zhao was initially scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 23. The reason for the date change has yet to be disclosed. Zhao’s lawyer, William Burke, declined to comment on the postponement.
Zhao faces 18 months in prison, but reports suggest that federal prosecutors are seeking a significantly lengthier sentence. CZ remains in the US, despite repeated requests to return to the UAE, he was released on a $175 million bail.
In November 2023, Zhao resigned from his post as CEO of the exchange and relinquished his position as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the U.S. division of Binance. The decisions were made to resolve the conflict between US regulatory authorities and the trading platform. Zhao is charged with money laundering.
In December, a court rejected Zhao’s request to return to the UAE after the Binance founder pleaded guilty in November. U.S. Justice Department prosecutors believe there is a “substantial risk” that Zhao will not return to the United States. They cite his “significant assets,” close ties to the UAE, and the country does not have an extradition treaty with the United States.
Binance, at the same time, agreed to pay $4.3 billion in fines and restitution as part of its guilty plea to conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money-transmitting business, conducting such a business and violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.