U.S. prosecutors are trying to prevent Changpeng Zhao from returning to the United Arab Emirates before his sentencing.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has pressed a Seattle federal judge on Nov. 22 to require Binance founder Changpeng Zhao to stay in the U.S. before his sentencing, Reuters has reported, citing a court filing.
According to prosecutors, Zhao poses a “serious risk of flight” as he has “minimal ties to the U.S.” and, therefore, should remain in the country ahead of his sentencing hearing scheduled on Feb. 23, 2024. Under the current terms of agreement, Zhao can leave the U.S., after singing a $175 million personal recognizance bond. He also locked $15 million in a trust account as part of the agreement.
However, prosecutors emphasized in a Wednesday filing that the $175 million bond is outside the jurisdiction of the U.S. legal system, making it extremely difficult for them to get the money should Zhao choose to stay in the United Arab Emirates.
As crypto.news earlier reported, the Binance founder agreed to step down as the exchange’s CEO as part of the settlement, which also includes a total $4.3 billion fine paid by Binance. Zhao is also facing up to 18 months in prison under federal sentencing guidelines. However, a spokesperson for the DoJ earlier noted that the regulator reserves the right “to seek a sentence above the guidelines.”