Binance Founder CZ’s Sentencing Postponed to April 30

  • Binance Founder CZ’s Sentencing Postponed to April 30.
  • Changpeng Zhao faces money laundering charges, sentencing delay raises questions.
  • Binance guilty plea includes $4.3B fines; Treasury Secretary cites illicit transactions.

The criminal sentencing of Changpeng Zhao, founder and former CEO of Binance, has been rescheduled for April 30, as revealed in a notice from the Seattle federal court. Commonly known as ‘CZ’ Zhao is facing charges related to money laundering, to which he pleaded guilty on November 21.

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The delay, unexplained in the docket entry, extends the period of uncertainty for the Canadian national, who is currently on a $175 million release bond in the U.S.

Zhao’s attorney, William Burck, refrained from commenting on the postponement, leaving the reason behind the two-month extension undisclosed. While federal sentencing guidelines propose a maximum 18-month prison term for Zhao, prosecutors are reportedly considering a more severe penalty.

In November, Zhao admitted to the charge of failing to uphold an effective anti-money laundering program at Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. As part of the plea deal, he agreed to step down as Binance’s CEO and pay a $50 million fine.

Simultaneously, Binance, in a historic case, consented to pay $4.3 billion in fines and restitution after pleading guilty to various charges, including conducting an unlicensed money-transmitting business.

The delayed sentencing follows Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s damning remarks, stating that Binance facilitated illicit activities ranging from child sexual abuse to illegal narcotics and terrorism.

Originally scheduled for February 23, Zhao’s sentencing faced two travel request rejections by the U.S. District Judge Richard Jones. The judge, considering Zhao’s considerable wealth and limited ties to the U.S., deemed him a flight risk.

Despite Zhao’s attempts to secure travel for personal reasons, the judge has upheld restrictions, keeping the Binance founder in a state of legal limbo until the rescheduled sentencing in late April.

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