SEC Probing Binance.US for Evidence of Potential Fraud, Despite Guilty Pleas From Binance and CZ: Report


The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is reportedly still investigating Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao and the company’s US branch despite both parties already pleading guilty to other charges levied by the Department of Justice (DOJ).

According to a new report by The Wall Street Journal, both Binance and Zhao will be probed for evidence that they still have backdoor access to control Binance.US’ crypto assets.

The SEC originally sued Binance in June, claiming that the crypto exchange was offering illegal securities. Earlier this month, Zhao pleaded guilty to separate charges of failing to maintain adequate anti-money laundering protocols, causing him to step down from his position as the firm’s chief executive.

Furthermore, Binance agreed to pay a $4.3 billion fine to the DOJ.

However, the DOJ’s complaints did not include accusations that Binance could control its customers’ funds.

During a recent meeting, Binance.US attorneys asked U.S. Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui to think about dropping its investigation. Faruqui responded by saying that he believes Zhao’s guilty pleas may be enough to stop the probe.

As stated by Faruqui to the SEC’s lawyers, according to The Journal,

“At some point, I have to make a leap of faith and say enough is enough.”

Binance attorney Matthew Laroche goes on to say that the firm is suffering financially due to the SEC’s lawsuit, according to the report. He says that the average monthly value of Binance.US assets is down almost 90%, and that the company has lost almost half of its monthly users since the SEC filed its case.

As stated by Laroche,

“The SEC has no evidence that assets have been misused in any way.”

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