In a significant development surrounding the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) lawsuit against Binance co-founder Changpeng 'CZ' Zhao, a court has issued an order to seal documents related to CZ's opposition to the government's request for a review of presentencing travel restrictions. Here are the details of the latest legal proceedings:
Court Orders Document Sealing Judge Richard A. Jones has mandated former Binance CEO Changpeng 'CZ' Zhao to remain within the continental U.S. until his sentencing hearing, scheduled for February 2024. This directive comes after Binance and CZ pleaded guilty to violating anti-money laundering laws as charged by the DOJ.
In a court filing on December 12, it was revealed that Judge Jones accepted a motion put forth by CZ's legal team to seal documents. The court granted an order to seal CZ's opposition document concerning the U.S. government's motion for reviewing the magistrate judge's ruling on presentencing travel restrictions.
The magistrate judge had initially permitted CZ to travel to his family in the UAE and return before the sentencing hearing. However, the DOJ prosecutors expressed concerns about the potential flight risk, citing CZ's extradition to a country without a treaty with the U.S. CZ is potentially facing a 10-year prison sentence, but expectations are that the final sentencing will likely be reduced to a matter of months. Judge Jones emphasized that the court wasn't entirely convinced about CZ's commitment to returning to the U.S. if allowed to travel at this stage.
Meanwhile, CZ has enlisted the expertise of seasoned attorneys for his defense. Notably, he recently brought on board veteran federal prosecutor Matthew Diggs, who is expected to play a crucial role in helping CZ secure a much-reduced prison sentence compared to the maximum 10 years.
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