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Former Binance CEO’s Bid to Use $4.5 Billion Stake as Collateral for UAE Travel Denied by Court

Former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, who is facing money laundering charges, attempted to use his multibillion-dollar stake in Binance.US as collateral to secure temporary travel permission back to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

This information comes from a recently unsealed court filing dated January 24, which revealed a previously sealed letter from Zhao’s lawyers to Judge Richard Jones, dated December 22.

In the letter, it was disclosed that Changpeng Zhao had sought permission to travel to the UAE for up to four weeks in early January to visit a friend or family member undergoing surgery and recuperating in a hospital.

The value of his equity in Binance.US, estimated at $4.5 billion based on a funding round from two years ago, was offered as collateral.

However, federal prosecutors did not approve this request, and Judge Richard Jones subsequently denied it during a closed-door hearing on December 29.

Changpeng Zhao had previously been prohibited from traveling to the UAE as part of his bond conditions. Judge Jones argued that his substantial wealth and overseas assets made him a flight risk if he returned to the UAE.

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As a result, Zhao is required to remain in the United States until his sentencing on February 23.

His current whereabouts within the country are unknown, and his activity on X, a social media platform, has been minimal since December 6, 2023.

Changpeng Zhao’s legal troubles began when he resigned as CEO of Binance in November 2022, as part of a $4.3 billion settlement with U.S. regulators.

In his admission, he acknowledged running an unlicensed money-transmitting business and violating the Bank Secrecy Act.

Now, Zhao faces a potential prison sentence of up to 18 months and has agreed not to appeal any sentence within that range.

Some details in the recently unsealed letter remain redacted, including the identity of the person undergoing surgery, the nature of the surgery, and other sensitive and personal information.

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Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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