Binance founder Changpeng “CZ” Zhao will pay a $175 million release bond and agree to return to the United States 14 days before his Feb. 23, 2024 sentencing — possibly allowing him to return to Dubai.
In a Nov. 21 bond document filed in a Seattle federal court, Zhao agreed to share with the court where he would reside and that a warrant could be issued for his arrest if he fails to show up for his court date.
Failure to appear in court carries a $250,000 fine and a maximum of 10 years in jail.
Zhao posted $15 million in a trust account seperate from his bond and agreed to forfeit it if he fails to adhere to his bond conditions. It also lists two guarantors to respectively post $250,000 and $100,000.
Zhao pleaded guilty to a violation of the Bank Secrecy Act which carries an 18-month sentence, but The New York Times reported on Nov. 21 that prosecutors are open to slapping him with a longer sentence.
The U.S. is expected to review Zhao’s bail order. If a judge denies review of the order, it will become effective on Nov. 27 at 5 pm Washington time. If the judge grants a review before that date, Zhao must stay in the U.S. until a decision is made.
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Zhao has been based in Dubai for several years and while no extradition agreement exists between the U.S. and the United Arab Emirates, the two countries made a bilateral agreement to enhance law enforcement cooperation on Feb. 24.
Zhao’s bond arrangements follow a $4.3 billion settlement between the cryptocurrency exchange and the U.S., which saw Zhao depart as Binance’s CEO and pay a $50 million fine.
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