The United States has reportedly put a price on the criminal case against the largest crypto exchange – Binance and its co-founder – Changpeng Zhao. According to Bloomberg, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) is seeking over $4 billion from the exchange to ease its legal woes. Additionally, the report claims that a deal could be finalized by the end of this month.
The year-long investigation conducted by the Justice Department could bring multiple criminal charges against both the exchange and its founder. This could include violations under money laundering, bank fraud, and US sanction laws.
Moreover, this news follows a months-old report that claimed that the US DoJ was split over charging Binance over fears of causing a bank run. The regulatory authorities had been considering other options such as fines or non-prosecution agreements to mitigate risks to consumers. And, based on the latest report, the official step that would be taken by the US Department of Justice could be revealed soon.
Binance’s legal troubles
Notably, the DoJ is not the only US regulatory authority that has set its sights on the largest crypto exchange. The US Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) and the Commodity and Future Trading Commission (CFTC) have already taken action against the entity.
Earlier this year, the SEC charged Binance, its US affiliate, and Zhao. The charges against these entities included securities law violations for the sale of BNB, BUSD, crypto lending and staking services. The charges also claimed the entities operated unregistered exchanges, clearing agencies, and broker-dealers.
With regard to this, Binance moved to the court to dismiss the lawsuit claiming that the commission was overreaching its mandate. However, in its November 2023 filing, the SEC has asked the court to reject Binance’s motion. The commission’s request is backed by its claim that the exchange has deployed a “tortured interpretation of the law” in its dismissal motion. And, the court is yet to make a decision on this motion.
The story is still developing…