Criminal sentencing of Binance founder CZ has been postponed until the end of April
Changpeng Zhao, founder and CEO of Binance, will attend the Viva Technology conference dedicated to innovation and startups at the Porte de Versailles exhibition center in Paris on June 16, 2022.
Benoit Tessier | Reuters
The criminal conviction Binance founder Changpeng Zhao on the money laundering rule charge has been suspended until April 30, according to Monday’s announcement in Seattle federal court.
That docket entry did not explain what would be a two-month delay in sentencing Zhao, a Canadian national known as “CZ” who is free on a $175 million bond in the United States.
Zhao’s attorney, William Burck, declined to comment when asked about the delay. CNBC has asked the Department of Justice about the delay.
Federal sentencing guidelines recommend a maximum sentence of 18 months in prison for Zhao, but prosecutors have reportedly considered asking for a harsher sentence.
Zhao pleaded guilty on November 21 to a charge of failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program at Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. As part of that plea, he agreed to resign as Binance’s chief executive and pay a $50 million fine.
Binance also agreed to pay $4.3 billion in fines and restitution as part of its guilty plea to conspiracy to conduct an unauthorized money transfer business, making such business and violates the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.
“Binance allowed illegal actors to operate freely, supporting activities ranging from child sexual abuse to illegal narcotics to terrorism,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said when the company and Zhao pleaded guilty. .
Zhao was originally scheduled to be sentenced on February 23.
The judge in Zhao’s case in early December denied his request to be able to travel to his home in the United Arab Emirates before he is sentenced.
US District Judge Richard Jones cited Zhao’s “substantial wealth” and lack of ties to the United States to find him a flight risk.
Jones in late December rejected another application by Zhao to travel to the UAE Zhao in his new application had said he wanted to travel home for a “hospital and surgery” in his life.
He had offered to post his equity in Binance as security for his return.