Binance founder and former CEO Changpeng Zhao has been denied permission to return to the UAE by a US federal judge as he awaits sentencing for anti-money laundering failures. 

Zhao, popularly known as CZ, was denied permission to return to travel to the UAE, where he bought a home in 2021, despite offering $4.5 billion in Binance equity as security. 

The cryptocurrency magnate, who experienced a fall from grace when he pleaded guilty to the failures in a US court last year, had asked to be allowed to travel to spend time with a person close to him who is to undergo surgery, according to multiple reports in US publications. 

The request to travel follows another attempt last month, also rejected by Judge Richard Jones, who wrote that Zhao had "enormous wealth abroad" and "no ties to the United States". 

“Under these circumstances the Court finds that the defendant has not established by clear and convincing evidence that he is not likely to flee if he returns to the UAE,” the judge wrote. 

(Reporting by Imogen Lillywhite; editing by Seban Scaria)