Binance CEO CZ Guilty Plea is Accepted by the Judge

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Last Updated on December 7, 2023 by Bitfinsider

A federal judge accepted Binance founder Changpeng “CZ” Zhao’s guilty plea to money laundering but has yet to rule on whether he can leave the country before his February sentencing date.

Judge Richard Jones stated in a Dec. 6 filing to a Seattle District Court that he accepted Zhao’s guilty plea to one count of Bank Secrecy Act violations, which the Binance founder submitted over two weeks ago on Nov. 21 with his exchange’s $4.3 billion settlement with US agencies.

Zhao agreed to step down as CEO of Binance and pay $150 million to regulators as part of the settlement agreement.

Zhao is scheduled to be sentenced on February 23, 2024, and might face up to 18 months in prison. He is presently free on a $175 million bond, which would have permitted him to return to his home in the United Arab Emirates.

However, federal prosecutors have objected to allowing Zhao to leave the country, claiming that they “would not be able to secure his return” if he did not return, citing the UAE’s lack of an extradition treaty and Zhao’s ability to live there forever on his money.

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