SEATTLE — A Seattle federal court has imposed travel restrictions on Changpeng Zhao, the billionaire CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Binance, preventing him from leaving the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The decision, made today, comes before Zhao’s expected sentencing in February on anti-money laundering charges and violating US sanctions.
The court’s move to uphold an earlier ruling allowing Zhao to travel was influenced by prosecutors’ concerns. They highlighted Zhao’s significant assets and connections in the UAE as potential factors that could increase the risk of him not returning for sentencing, as well as complications that could arise in extradition efforts him after sentencing.
The stay represents a notable development in a case that has been closely watched by the cryptocurrency industry, as Zhao is a prominent figure in the field. Binance, the platform he leads, is one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges by trading volume. The outcome of Zhao’s case could have far-reaching implications for regulatory oversight and compliance in the rapidly growing digital currency market.
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