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Changpeng Zhao Offered Binance.US Stake Worth $4.5 Billion As Security For Trip To UAE

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Changpeng Zhao
Changpeng Zhao

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Former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao’s pledge of his multibillion-dollar stake in Binance.US as security for a trip to the United Arab Emirates was denied by a US judge, according to a newly unsealed court filing

The Jan. 24 filing revealed a sealed Dec. 22 letter from Zhao’s lawyers to Judge Richard Jones that offered up his equity in Binance.US as security. Based on a funding round that took place two years ago, the letter estimated the stake to be worth about $4.5 billion.

Guest Post by U_Today: Key Reason Why Former Binance CEO CZ Can't Leave US | CoinMarketCap

Changpeng Zhao Wanted To Travel To Visit Someone In Hospital

The former Binance CEO wanted to travel to the UAE for up to four weeks at the start of January to see a friend or family member undergoing surgery and staying in hospital.

Federal prosecutors opposed the request and court records show Judge Richard Jones denied it on Dec. 29 in a closed-door hearing.

Parts of the recently unsealed letter are still redacted as it includes the name of the person having surgery and the type of surgery, as well as other sensitive personal information.

Not The First Time Changpeng Zhao Had To Stay In The U.S.

This is not the first time Zhao has not been allowed to travel to the UAE since pleading guilty to money laundering on Nov. 21. On Dec. 7, Judge Jones ordered the former Binance CEO to stay in the U.S. until his sentencing on Feb. 23. “The defendant has enormous wealth and property abroad, and no ties to the United States,” said the judge. 

Zhao is currently free to roam the U.S. after paying a $175 million bond. The terms of his bond are, according to Jones, “hardly burdensome impositions on the defendant’s freedom.”

Zhao faces up to 18 months in prison, and has agreed not to appeal any sentence up to that length. Zhao’s exact whereabouts within the country are unknown. He has also remained inactive on X since his last post on Dec. 6, 2023.

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