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Binance founder Changpeng Zhao ordered to surrender Canadian passport

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Binance founder Changpeng Zhao ordered to surrender Canadian passport

A U.S. district court has changed the bail conditions for Binance cryptocurrency exchange founder Changpeng Zhao and ordered him to surrender his Canadian passport.

As the Wall Street Journal reports, the Ministry of Justice’s request was satisfied. The court has now ordered Zhao to surrender all valid and expired passports. The entrepreneur must transfer the documents to a person his lawyers will hire, who will accompany the former head of Binance on all trips where a passport may be needed.

In addition, Zhao can only issue new documents with the court’s permission. He is also obliged to notify the relevant services of his movements.

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In November 2023, Zhao pleaded guilty to violating the Bank Secrecy Act and agreed to pay a fine. Soon after, Zhao was released on bail of $175 million.

In December, Judge Richard A. Jones formally barred the entrepreneur from leaving the United States pending a verdict in his case. U.S. Justice Department prosecutors believe there is a substantial risk that Zhao will not return to the United States. The court cited his “significant assets,” close ties to the UAE, and the country’s lack of an extradition treaty with the United States.

The sentencing date in the Zhao case has been postponed to April 30. It was originally scheduled for March but was delayed for unknown reasons.

The entrepreneur may face up to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to violating anti-money laundering laws in the U.S. According to former U.S. SEC employee John Reed Stark, representatives of the Ministry of Justice will insist on a more severe punishment.

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