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CZ’s $4.5 Billion Binance Equity Offer Rejected for U.S. Return (crypto-news-flash)

  • Changpeng Zhao has been denied a request to leave the U.S. despite pledging $4.5 billion for his return.
  • Zhao pleaded with the judge on the merits of a family medical emergency, but many remain skeptical given his impending judgment.

Although Changpeng Zhao, the former Binance CEO, has complied with the U.S., the exchange founder has met opposition in his attempts to leave the country. Court filings show that federal Judge Richard Jones has denied a request by the founder, who goes by his initials “CZ,” to leave the country and travel to the United Arab Emirates.

The criminal court filing from last month shows that CZ offered $4.5 billion in Binance equity as security for his return to the U.S. Filed by the founder’s lawyers, the valuation of the shares was based on the last funding round from two years ago. The filing further revealed that CZ wanted to travel to the United Arab Emirates for the “hospitalization and surgery” of a person in his life.

Despite this record post, on December 29th, the judge held a closed hearing and denied the request. Ironically, the judge ruled that CZ’s “enormous wealth” made him a significant flight risk. He further explained that the former CEO enjoyed favorable status in the UAE and his wealth made it possible for him to flee once he left the U.S.

The defendant has enormous wealth and property abroad, and no ties to the United States. His family resides in the UAE and it appears that he has favored status in the UAE,

Under these circumstances the Court finds that the defendant has not established by clear and convincing evidence that he is not likely to flee if he returns to the UAE.

As CNF reported last year, CZ entered into a plea deal with the U.S. government, admitting to failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program at the company. He further agreed to a record $4.3 billion fine, to step down as Binance’s CEO, and not to take any leadership positions in the company.

Today, I stepped down as CEO of Binance. Admittedly, it was not easy to let go emotionally. But I know it is the right thing to do. I made mistakes, and I must take responsibility. This is best for our community, for Binance, and for myself.

Binance is no longer a baby. It is…

— CZ 🔶 BNB (@cz_binance) November 21, 2023

Following this agreement, CZ’s sentencing was scheduled for February 2024. At the time, it was unclear whether CZ, who is free on a $175 million release bond, would be allowed to leave the U.S.

Although the industry titan has promised to cooperate with the government and admitted his and his company’s wrongdoing, some experts warn that CZ faces 10 years in prison. Realistically, this has led many to speculate that the CEO is looking for a way out and planning his escape from justice.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao is desperately trying to evade authorities and vanish amid the investigation into his massive fraud scheme.

He’s begging the courts for the 4th time to let him travel to the UAE before he’s sentenced. This time, he says it’s due to a family member’s…

— WhaleWire (@WhaleWire) January 25, 2024

Despite the negative developments, many in the crypto community hold CZ in high regard. He has been a champion of cryptocurrencies and built the world’s largest cryptocurrency by volume. He is also credited with exposing the fraud perpetuated by the FTX exchange leaders. CZ was also commended for the swift action and handling of the ongoing case, which has ensured little panic and market volatility. For this and more, his contribution to the growth and mass adoption of the space remains undeniable.

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