Thursday , 25 July 2024
Home Business US DoJ seeks more than $4bn from Binance to settle criminal probe
Business

US DoJ seeks more than $4bn from Binance to settle criminal probe


Unlock the Editor’s Digest for free

The US Department of Justice is seeking more than $4bn from Binance to settle a criminal investigation that has ensnared the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange and its co-founder. 

The proposed deal between Binance and the DoJ would bring to an end a multiyear investigation by US prosecutors that has focused on bank fraud, sanctions violations and money laundering, according to a person familiar with the matter. 

Under the potential agreement, which was first reported by Bloomberg, Binance co-founder and chief executive Changpeng Zhao may also face criminal charges, the person added. 

The DoJ declined to comment. A spokesperson for Binance did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

The agreement would mark one of the most high-profile DoJ settlements in the crypto industry, and comes at a time when Washington has increased its scrutiny of misconduct in the digital asset sector amid claims of links to terrorism financing.

Following Hamas’s attack on Israel on October 7, Israel closed more than 100 Binance accounts, and requested information on up to 200 additional accounts, most of which were held on Binance, the FT reported.

Last month US senator Cynthia Lummis also called on the DoJ to “reach a charging decision” on Binance.

The top US cryptocurrency enforcement tsar this year warned the Financial Times of an impending crackdown on digital platforms. The DoJ was focusing on companies that either commited crimes themselves or allowed them to happen — such as enabling money laundering — said Eun Young Choi, the then director of the agency’s national cryptocurrency enforcement team. Choi is now in a new role at the DoJ.

The deal would also mark a significant step up in the scrutiny facing the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, which has spent this year clashing with several other major US agencies.

In March, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission sued the exchange and alleged it had illegally accessed US customers. In the regulator’s lawsuit, the CFTC alleged that a Binance executive had said in 2020 that certain customers were “here for crime”. A colleague allegedly replied: “We see the bad, but we close two eyes.”

Meanwhile the Securities and Exchange Commission in June filed 13 civil charges of its own against several Binance-related entities and Zhao.

SEC chair Gary Gensler at the time accused Binance of engaging in an “extensive web of deception, conflicts of interest, lack of disclosure, and calculated evasion of the law”. The financial markets watchdog chief also alleged that Binance mixed billions of dollars of customer cash with a separate trading firm also controlled by Zhao.

Binance has said it intends to fight both lawsuits.



Source link

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

Business

The statue that moved — and the cousin I never knew

In July 1985, a number of Irish religious statues began to move. There...

Business

Think Clothes Were ‘Better’ 50 Years Ago? Our Investigation Might Surprise You

LATE LAST YEAR, old trench coats began trending on X (formerly known...

Business

The ‘Happy Dream’ of Running a Circus

When people ask me what I do for a living, and I...

Business

US carries out second strike against Houthis

Unlock the Editor’s Digest for free Roula Khalaf, Editor of the FT,...