Changpeng Zhao could serve time in the same facility as ‘crypto-anarchist’ Jim Bell

Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, ex-CEO of Binance, has asked a federal judge for probation following his guilty plea to money laundering law infringements. His lawyers have submitted various statements advocating for this leniency, one of which proposes that he could complete any necessary jail term at the Federal Detention Center (FDC) in SeaTac, Washington.

In a court filing on April 23, Robert Palmquist stated that it was very likely that Zhao would serve his prison term at FDC SeaTac if sentenced to imprisonment. From 2003 to 2009, Palmquist had served as the warden of this Washington facility. He characterized it as having minimal natural light and an insufficient staff due to the large inmate population.

“If Mr. Zhao is jailed, his riches and prominent public image could make him vulnerable to dangers to both his body and mind,” Palmquist explained. “He might face various threats in prison, such as theft and blackmail, due to his lack of experience with the criminal system and substantial wealth.”

Changpeng Zhao could serve time in the same facility as ‘crypto-anarchist’ Jim Bell

The Federal Detention Center (FDC) in Sea-Tac, located south of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and with a population of 794 inmates as per its website, has previously held a Proud Boys member implicated in the January 6, 2021, assault on the US Capitol. Additionally, it once housed Jim Bell, identified as a ‘crypto-anarchist.’ Bell was released in 2012 and faced charges for tax evasion in the 1990s regarding his involvement with ‘Assassination Politics’: an initiative advocating anonymous payments for commissioning the murder of government officials.

Zhao’s legal team submitted multiple letters from friends, family, and business associates to request leniency in sentencing for the ex-CEO. According to U.S. sentencing rules, the judge could imprison CZ for up to 10 years, but the suggested term for his offense is between 12 and 18 months. The prosecution has asked for a three-year prison sentence and a $50 million fine instead.

Following the legal proceedings and penalties imposed on Sam Bankman-Fried, the ex-CEO of FTX, CZ is set to become a notable figure in the crypto community as he approaches a federal court hearing. In this hearing, a judge will determine whether to grant him probation or impose prison time. Meanwhile, Alex Mashinsky, the previous CEO of Celsius, who is charged with seven securities and commodities fraud offenses, is scheduled for trial in January 2025.

Since his guilty plea in the $4.3 billion Binance settlement with U.S. authorities in November 2023, CZ (Changpeng Zhao) has kept quiet about the allegations in public. In a letter to Judge Richard Jones on February 2nd, he expressed remorse for his errors concerning Binance and was ready to take accountability for his actions.

The ex-CEO of Binance, who was once in custody, is set to be sentenced in court again on April 30. Since last November, he has been permitted to move around certain areas in the US with a bail bond worth $175 million.

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2024-04-25 00:23