Zhao can’t return to UAE before sentencing: report

Quick Take

  • The news comes after an initial ruling that Zhao could not return to the UAE, pending a further review.

A federal judge in Seattle ruled that Chanpeng Zhao, former CEO of Binance, can’t return home to the United Arab Emirates before he’s sentenced in the U.S. in February.

The same ruling was issued on November 27, pending a further review. Prosecutors had warned that Zhao presented a flight risk, citing his wealth and the fact that the UAE has no extradition treaty with the U.S.

U.S. District Judge Richard Jones on Thursday rejected the idea of Zhao returning to the UAE outright before he is sentenced, according to the Bloomberg report today. In November, Zhao pleaded guilty in a Seattle court to violating, and causing a financial institution to violate, the Bank Secrecy Act. He also agreed to pay a $50 million fine.


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Theoretically, Zhao could face as much as 10 years in prison.

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About Author

Ryan Weeks is deals editor at the The Block, focused on fundraising, M&A and institutional trends in the crypto space, among other things. He is particularly interested in investigative work — so please send tips! Ryan previously worked at Financial News, Dow Jones as a fintech correspondent in London. Prior to that, he wrote for several different publications, including Sifted, AltFi and Wired. Beyond journalism, Ryan is a keen reader and writer. He enjoys all things active, especially running, rugby, climbing and tennis.