Last week, following incredible events, Binance‘s former CEO Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao objected to the travel ban imposed on him due to the risk of flight as determined by the prosecutors of the Justice Department. This objection came after CZ, facing a potential 10-year prison sentence, was released from custody on a $175 million bail and wanted to return to the UAE before serving his sentence for the charges he had admitted to.
Lawyer Matthew Diggs of the Davis Wright Tremaine LLP law firm will represent Changpeng Zhao, according to a court filing on November 27. Diggs, a former federal prosecutor with over 15 years of criminal and regulatory experience, has a notable past. He has successfully assisted his clients in challenging white-collar cases and investigations.
Diggs’ expertise includes healthcare fraud, environmental crimes, investment fraud, and tax prosecutions. He has proven himself by successfully defending against False Claims Act investigations and other government sanctions in various complex cases. As part of the Davis Wright Tremaine team defending CZ in the lawsuit opened by the U.S. government, they aim to help the former CEO reduce the initially projected 10-year prison term to a much shorter duration.
CZ did not achieve the desired outcome in court. During this time, U.S. District Judge Richard Jones of the Western District of Washington could not be persuaded to allow CZ to return to the United Arab Emirates to serve his sentence. Judge Jones suspended Magistrate Judge Brian A. Tsuchida’s decision, which allowed CZ to return to the UAE to await his sentence, in accordance with the conditions of the bond letter.
Former Binance CEO CZ must reside in the U.S. until the court resolves the plaintiff’s request for review. Despite facing a 10-year prison sentence, legal commentators suggest that CZ is unlikely to receive more than 18 months of jail time. CZ also agreed to pay a $50 million fine. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong commented on the matter, stating that after the Binance deal, it is necessary to look to the future with clear regulations.
- CZ Zhao objects to imposed travel ban.
- Matthew Diggs to represent CZ in court.
- CZ may face a reduced sentence and fine.