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Prosecutors Seek Passport Surrender from Changpeng Zhao

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Prosecutors Seek Passport Surrender from Changpeng Zhao

The U.S. Attorney’s Office has requested additional travel restrictions for former Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, seeking approval from a federal judge. The request states that CZ should stay within the continental U.S. until his sentencing hearing on April 30 and provide three days’ notice for any travel to allow the government to object. The U.S. Attorney’s Office also asked CZ to surrender his Canadian passport and all other current and expired travel documents. CZ, who is also a citizen of the United Arab Emirates, had requested to travel there to visit family, but the judge denied the motion.

According to the filing, CZ’s legal team objects to the motion as written, indicating that they may continue to pursue a way for him to leave the country. In November 2023, CZ pleaded guilty to a felony count for the failure to maintain an effective Anti-Money Laundering program at Binance. He has been free on a $175 million bond since then. CZ stepped down as Binance CEO as part of a $4.3 billion agreement with U.S. authorities, in which the exchange accepted a $1.8 billion fine and forfeiture of $2.5 billion.

CZ and Binance are still facing a civil case with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which filed a lawsuit in June 2023. Judge Richard Jones, who accepted the fine and forfeiture on February 23, commented that the case revealed compromised ethics within the company due to greed. After CZ’s departure, Richard Teng, the former head of regional markets at Binance, assumed the CEO position. In an interview with in December 2023, Teng described the exchange as “totally different” compared to its previous state six years ago.

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