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币安创始人赵长鹏敦促法官在判决前让他离开美国

币安创始人赵长鹏敦促法官在判决前让他离开美国

STEVE MOLLMAN 2023-11-28
在此之前,司法部正竭力阻止赵长鹏离开美国。

上周二,币安(Binance)创始人赵长鹏(Changpeng Zhao)离开西雅图联邦法院。图片来源:CHLOE COLLYER/BLOOMBERG VIA GETTY IMAGES

币安前首席执行官赵长鹏的律师坚称,这位加密货币亿万富翁没有潜逃的风险。司法部却不这么认为。

上周二,美国政府宣布对币安及其负责人提起刑事指控。这家全球最大的加密货币交易所同意支付43亿美元的罚款,这是企业史上最大的罚款之一。该公司对涉嫌洗钱、违反美国制裁的指控认罪,但避免了“死刑判决”,并被允许继续运营。

据美国当局称,币安没有报告与被美国称为恐怖组织的组织进行的10万多笔可疑交易,其中包括哈马斯、基地组织和伊拉克和叙利亚伊斯兰国。他们补充说,该公司还通过让“暗网”人员和勒索软件黑客在该平台上进行操作来非法获利。

当《财富》杂志就和解协议联系币安时,币安的一位发言人分享了一篇博客文章,其中部分内容是:“这些决议承认我们公司对历史上违反合规计划的犯罪行为负有责任,并允许我们能够结束充满挑战但又具有变革意义的学习和成长篇章。”

至于赵长鹏,这位亿万富翁同意辞去首席执行官一职,并支付5000万美元的罚款,他还承认未能防止洗钱。他将于2月23日被判刑,面临长达10年的监禁,但根据认罪协议,预计刑期不会超过18个月。

赵长鹏是加拿大和阿拉伯联合酋长国公民,他希望在宣判前返回他位于阿联酋的住所,他的律师说他想让伴侣和三个孩子为判决做好准备。但检察官警告称,如果他决定永远不回来,美国政府可能无法确保他返回美国,因为美国与阿联酋没有引渡条约——而且这位亿万富翁拥有“巨额资产”。

司法部律师说:“在绝大多数案件中,一位身价数十亿美元的被告如果认罪,可能面临牢狱之灾,而且居住在一个不向美国引渡其公民的国家,那么该被告将被拘留。”

美国司法部在一份简报中表示,虽然司法部建议赵长鹏在宣判前保持自由,但这是因为司法部认为旅行限制可以降低他的潜逃风险。但上周二,地方法官布莱恩·津田不顾司法部的反对,设定了允许这位币安创始人离开美国的保释条件。

上周三,司法部要求美国地区法官理查德·琼斯撤销这些保释条件。第二天,赵长鹏的律师要求他不要这样做,并指出他们的当事人自愿来到美国,为自己的行为承担责任。琼斯预计将在周一对此事作出裁决。

与此同时,币安本周宣布,其区域市场全球主管理查德·腾(Richard Teng)将接替赵长鹏担任首席执行官。理查德·腾在推特上表示,除了“让用户放心”之外,他的工作重点将是“与监管机构合作”。

至于赵长鹏,他在上周二发帖称:“接下来我要做什么?我先休息一下。我没有一天能够真正(关机)休息。”

他的量刑和推定的监禁时间将如何影响这一切还有待观察。(财富中文网)

译者:中慧言-王芳

币安前首席执行官赵长鹏的律师坚称,这位加密货币亿万富翁没有潜逃的风险。司法部却不这么认为。

上周二,美国政府宣布对币安及其负责人提起刑事指控。这家全球最大的加密货币交易所同意支付43亿美元的罚款,这是企业史上最大的罚款之一。该公司对涉嫌洗钱、违反美国制裁的指控认罪,但避免了“死刑判决”,并被允许继续运营。

据美国当局称,币安没有报告与被美国称为恐怖组织的组织进行的10万多笔可疑交易,其中包括哈马斯、基地组织和伊拉克和叙利亚伊斯兰国。他们补充说,该公司还通过让“暗网”人员和勒索软件黑客在该平台上进行操作来非法获利。

当《财富》杂志就和解协议联系币安时,币安的一位发言人分享了一篇博客文章,其中部分内容是:“这些决议承认我们公司对历史上违反合规计划的犯罪行为负有责任,并允许我们能够结束充满挑战但又具有变革意义的学习和成长篇章。”

至于赵长鹏,这位亿万富翁同意辞去首席执行官一职,并支付5000万美元的罚款,他还承认未能防止洗钱。他将于2月23日被判刑,面临长达10年的监禁,但根据认罪协议,预计刑期不会超过18个月。

赵长鹏是加拿大和阿拉伯联合酋长国公民,他希望在宣判前返回他位于阿联酋的住所,他的律师说他想让伴侣和三个孩子为判决做好准备。但检察官警告称,如果他决定永远不回来,美国政府可能无法确保他返回美国,因为美国与阿联酋没有引渡条约——而且这位亿万富翁拥有“巨额资产”。

司法部律师说:“在绝大多数案件中,一位身价数十亿美元的被告如果认罪,可能面临牢狱之灾,而且居住在一个不向美国引渡其公民的国家,那么该被告将被拘留。”

美国司法部在一份简报中表示,虽然司法部建议赵长鹏在宣判前保持自由,但这是因为司法部认为旅行限制可以降低他的潜逃风险。但上周二,地方法官布莱恩·津田不顾司法部的反对,设定了允许这位币安创始人离开美国的保释条件。

上周三,司法部要求美国地区法官理查德·琼斯撤销这些保释条件。第二天,赵长鹏的律师要求他不要这样做,并指出他们的当事人自愿来到美国,为自己的行为承担责任。琼斯预计将在周一对此事作出裁决。

与此同时,币安本周宣布,其区域市场全球主管理查德·腾(Richard Teng)将接替赵长鹏担任首席执行官。理查德·腾在推特上表示,除了“让用户放心”之外,他的工作重点将是“与监管机构合作”。

至于赵长鹏,他在上周二发帖称:“接下来我要做什么?我先休息一下。我没有一天能够真正(关机)休息。”

他的量刑和推定的监禁时间将如何影响这一切还有待观察。(财富中文网)

译者:中慧言-王芳

The lawyers for former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao insist the crypto billionaire is not a flight risk. The Justice Department isn’t so sure.

On Tuesday, the U.S. government announced criminal charges against Binance and its leader. The world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange agreed to pay $4.3 billion in penalties, among the largest fines in corporate history. It also pleaded guilty to anti-money laundering and U.S. sanctions violations. But it avoided a death sentence and will be allowed to continue operating.

Binance failed to report over 100,000 suspicious transactions with organizations the U.S. described as terrorist groups, among them Hamas, al Qaeda, and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, according to U.S. authorities. And it illegally profited by letting “darknet” actors and ransomware hackers operate on the platform, they added.

When contacted by Fortune about the settlement, a spokesperson for Binance shared a blog post reading in part: “These resolutions acknowledge our company’s responsibility for historical, criminal compliance violations, and allow our company to turn the page on a challenging yet transformative chapter of learning and growth.”

As for Zhao, the billionaire agreed to step down as CEO and pay a $50 million fine, and he pleaded guilty to failure to protect against money laundering. Scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 23, he faces up to a decade in prison but under a plea deal is expected to get no more than 18 months.

Zhao, a citizen of Canada and the United Arab Emirates, hopes to travel to his home in the UAE ahead of the sentencing, with his lawyers saying he wants to prepare his partner and three children for his sentencing. But if he decides to never come back, prosecutors warned on Wednesday, the U.S. government might be unable to secure his return because it has no extradition treaty with the UAE—and the billionaire has “significant assets,” it noted.

“In the vast majority of cases, a multi-billionaire defendant who has pleaded guilty, faces possible prison time, and lives in a country that does not extradite its citizens to the United States would be detained,” said Justice Department lawyers.

The DOJ said in a brief on Friday that while it recommended Zhao remain free before sentencing, that was because it believed travel restrictions could make him less of a flight risk. Instead, on Tuesday magistrate judge Brian Tsuchida set bail conditions, over DOJ objections, that allow for the Binance founder to leave the U.S.

On Wednesday, the Justice Department asked U.S. district judge Richard Jones to reverse those bail conditions. The following day, Zhao’s lawyers asked him not to, noting that their client voluntarily came to the U.S. to accept responsibility for his actions. Jones is expected to rule on the matter by Monday.

Meanwhile Binance this week announced that Richard Teng, its global head of regional markets, would replace Zhao as CEO. Teng tweeted that his focus would be on “collaborating with regulators” in addition to “reassuring users.”

As for Zhao, he posted on Tuesday: “What’s next for me? I will take a break first. I have not had a single day of real (phone off) break for the last 6 and half years.”

How his sentencing and presumed jail time plays into that remains to be seen.

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