US Orders Binance’s Changpeng Zhao to Surrender Passports

The United States has mandated that former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao surrender all his passports, whether active or expired, to a third party, as disclosed in a legal filing submitted yesterday.

The alteration in Zhao’s bond conditions for release was initiated by United States District Judge A. Jones, which now requires Zhao to stay within the confines of the US until the conclusion of his sentencing, with a stipulation to inform court authorities of any intended travel plans.

Moreover, as part of the bond restructuring, Zhao is obligated to relinquish his Canadian passport to a designated third-party custodian. This custodian is mandated to accompany him on any travel necessitating identification.

The legal filing further specifies that Zhao is barred from applying for or acquiring a new passport or travel document from any nation without explicit permission from the court. The custody of his passports will be entrusted to third parties, who are authorized to return them solely with the consent of pretrial services or the court.

Zhao’s legal entanglements stem from his guilty plea last November, wherein he admitted to breaching the Bank Secrecy Act, neglecting to register Binance as a money services business, and failing to establish an effective anti-money laundering program. The sentencing for these infractions is scheduled for April 30.

The recent modification in bond requirements comes in response to an application filed by the US to impose travel restrictions on Zhao.

In his defense against these restrictions, Zhao contended that his travel history “has not been an issue to date.” However, the government countered his argument, asserting that circumstances “that have not been an issue to date” could potentially arise as problematic in the future.

Zhao currently faces up to 18 months in prison following his guilty plea. Given his lack of ties to the United States, the Justice Department was concerned that Zhao would not return to the United States to serve his sentence.

Prior to this, it was rumored that Zhao was looking to leave the country to return to the United Arab Emirates, where he holds citizenship. The UAE does not have an extradition agreement in place with the US.

Information for this story was found via Protos and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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