November 29, 2023

DOJ Divided on Whether to Charge Binance in Ongoing Criminal Investigation

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) is divided over whether to file charges against Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, according to four sources familiar with the matter. The DOJ’s investigation, which began in 2018 and focuses on Binance’s compliance with US anti-money laundering laws and sanctions, has involved federal prosecutors from three DOJ offices: the Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section, the US Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington in Seattle, and the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team. Some of the at least half dozen prosecutors involved in the case believe that sufficient evidence has been gathered to file charges against Binance and its executives, including founder Changpeng Zhao, while others have argued for more time to review evidence. The potential charges under investigation include unlicensed money transmission, money laundering conspiracy, and criminal sanctions violations.

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