Nov 27 (Reuters) – Former Binance chief Changpeng Zhao must stay in the United States for the time being, a federal judge said on Monday, after the founder of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange pleaded guilty to violating U.S. anti-money laundering laws.
Zhao will be required to stay in the United States until the Seattle court considers whether he should remain through his sentencing hearing in February, or if he should be allowed to return to the United Arab Emirates, where he is a citizen.
Zhao, who is also a citizen of Canada, stepped down as CEO of Binance last week after pleading guilty to willfully causing the exchange to fail to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program.
U.S. District Judge Richard Jones in Seattle said he would review whether Zhao should have to stay in the United States after the U.S. government appealed a decision by another judge allowing Zhao to return to the UAE before his Feb. 23 sentencing hearing. Zhao agreed to a $175 million bond as part of the bail agreement.
Binance Holdings agreed to pay over $4.3 billion and pleaded guilty to breaking U.S. anti-money laundering and sanctions laws.
Binance said last week it had worked hard to make the company “safer and…