Binance’s CZ seeks to avoid jail time, refutes DOJ’s flight risk claim
CZ's lawyers argue that he is ready to accept responsibility for his actions.
Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao, the founder and former CEO of Binance, is contesting the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) motion to restrict his travel before sentencing, asserting he doesn’t pose a flight risk.
On Nov. 23, CryptoSlate reported that the DOJ moved to prevent CZ from leaving the U.S., arguing that the Binance founder posed a flight risk because of his substantial wealth and family connections in the UAE.
‘No flight risk’
However, CZ’s legal team rebuts this claim, highlighting U.S. Magistrate Judge Brian A. Tsuchida’s prior decision to grant bail and voluntarily permit CZ to return to the UAE.
“As Judge Tsuchida concluded, based on a complete record, [that] Mr. Zhao presents no risk of flight, having voluntarily come before the Court to accept responsibility and plead guilty, and the government’s motion should be denied.”
They emphasize CZ’s commitment to accepting responsibility for his actions and his lack of criminal history. Additionally, they assert that his guilty plea underlines his intent to cooperate with the court.
Besides that, the filing highlights that CZ’s voluntary appearance was pivotal in resolving the government’s case against Binance. The defense further argues against the government’s contention regarding the lack of an extradition treaty between the U.S. and the UAE, citing inconsistencies in similar bail cases involving foreign defendants.
‘No jail time’
Regarding sentencing, CZ’s legal team has hinted at advocating for no jail time for their client.
Instead, they argue that CZ might be “eligible to serve half of any term of imprisonment in a non-jail setting, such as home detention or community confinement.” The lawyers plan to draw on precedents for similar offenses that could support their client’s release.
The U.S. government indicates a potential maximum 18-month prison term in line with federal guidelines for CZ’s case.