Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao's Sentencing Postponed To April

Written by

Eddie Mitchell

Cryptocurrency Writer

Published Feb 13, 2024 at 4:50 PM
Last updated Feb 13, 2024 at 4:53 PM

The criminal sentencing hearing for former Binance CEO and founder Changpeng 'CZ' Zhao has been postponed until late April, though reasons remain unknown as to why.

Two-month sentencing delay

Following a guilty plea on 21 November 2023, and agreeing to pay a fine of $50million as well as stepping down as CEO of Binance, CZ has been out on a $175m release bond deal awaiting his criminal sentencing that was scheduled for 23 February 2024.

According to CNBC, the rescheduling of his sentencing to 30 April 2024 is yet to be explained, with the docket entry citing no reasons as to why this decision has been made. CNBC also notes that CZ’s lawyer, William Burck, declined to comment on the development.

Though CZ is expected to face about 12 to 18 months in prison, other prosecutors are pushing for a harsher sentencing as per a November 2023 filing, which reads: “The reality is that the top-end of the Guidelines range may be as high as 18 months, and the United States is free to argue for any sentence up to the statutory maximum of ten years.” 

The news comes a short time after CZ was denied the right to fly to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) so that he could be present for a particular person’s surgical procedure and recovery period. CZ offered up his $4.5bn stake in Binance as a bond, but his request was denied on account of the perceived flight / no return risk CZ poses due to his close ties in UAE.

Crypto on the back foot?

Having also paid a hefty fine of $4.3bn and a mandate to exit the US market, Binance is still actively defending itself in a lawsuit from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that began in 2023.

Just as they have with many other crypto projects and exchanges, the SEC is accusing Binance of selling several crypto tokens that the SEC deems as unregistered securities.

It can be expected that the outcome of the SEC’s lawsuit against Binance, Coinbase, and Kraken, will have huge implications for the crypto market going forward, for better or worse.

Former FTX founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) is also awaiting his sentencing hearing following the collapse of the exchange in 2022. Carrying a maximum sentence of 110 years, SBF will receive his sentencing on 28 March, a month before CZ.

BNB price

Meanwhile, earlier today, Solana's market cap overtook Binance's BNB coin briefly to claim the fourth-largest crypto spot.

At the time of writing (13 February), BNB appears to be back at no.4 and is trading at $321.61, down 0.14% in the past 24 hours, according to CoinMarketCap

BNB coin daily chart. Source: CoinMarketCap