Former Binance CEO CZ Ordered to Surrender Canadian Passport to US

In a recent development in the continuing legal situation involving Changpeng Zhao, the ex-CEO of Binance, the United States has instructed him to surrender all his active or expired passports to a designated third party.

This directive was revealed in a legal filing submitted on March 12, changing Zhao’s bond conditions for release.

Travel Restrictions and Bans

According to the filing, United States District Judge A. Jones, presiding over the case, has stipulated that Zhao must remain within the borders of the United States for the duration of his sentencing and must inform court authorities of any planned travel.

“Defendant must remain in the continental United States through the imposition of sentence,” “Defendant must notify Pretrial Services before any travel within the continental United States,” stated the filing.

As part of the amended bond conditions, Zhao must also give his Canadian passport to a third-party custodian, who must accompany him whenever he travels to destinations needing identification.

Zhao has also been explicitly banned from applying for or obtaining a new passport or travel document from any country without prior permission from the court. The legal filing further specifies that the third parties entrusted with Zhao’s passports can only return them to him with explicit consent from pretrial services or the court.

US Tightens Grip on Former Binance CEO Zhao

The move to impose strict travel restrictions on Zhao comes after the U.S. government applied to modify his bond requirements last week. In response to his argument that travel had not been an issue thus far, the prosecution argued that the absence of problems in the past does not prevent the possibility of complications arising in the future.

This development follows Changpeng Zhao pleading guilty in November 2023 to violating U.S. anti-money laundering requirements. Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, was also accused of engaging in anti-money laundering, unlicensed money transmitting, and sanctions violations.

The charges stemmed from Binance’s failure to register as a money-transmitting business and its violations related to the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA).

As part of the resolution, Binance agreed to pay over $4 billion to settle the investigation, making it one of the largest corporate penalties in U.S. history. CZ’s sentencing is scheduled for April 30, and he faces up to 18 months in prison.

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