Bloomberg: U.S. demands $4 billion from Binance to drop criminal case
The U.S. is demanding more than $4 billion from cryptocurrency exchange Binance to drop a criminal case
According to Bloomberg sources, the U.S. Department of Justice may bring criminal charges against the founder of the exchange Changpeng Zhao. The exchange's token rate reacted to the news with a sharp rise
The U.S. Department of Justice is demanding more than $4 billion from the largest cryptocurrency exchange Binance as part of the alleged settlement of a multi-year investigation into the site, Bloomberg writes, citing its own sources.
At the time of the news, the rate of BNB, the token of the Binance exchange sagged and then rose sharply from $238 to $268, with the token's capitalization adding more than $2 billion, according to TradingView.
258,1 +12,2 (4,96%)
According to people familiar with talks between the DOJ and Binance, the agency admits that Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao will be criminally prosecuted in the United States as part of an agreement to settle an investigation into alleged money laundering, bank fraud and sanctions violations.
Binance did not respond to "numerous" emails and phone calls from the publication's reporters seeking comment. The Justice Department declined to comment.
According to Bloomberg's sources, who wished to remain anonymous, the department's official decision may be published as early as the end of November. The exact timing and structure of the proposed decision, as well as the specific charges, have not yet been confirmed. Most likely, Binance will have to pay more than $4 billion, which would be one of the largest fines in a criminal case involving cryptocurrencies.
The investigation is being led by the Criminal Division's Anti-Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Unit, as well as Homeland Security and the U.S. Attorney's Office in Seattle. According to several other sources of the publication, the agreement between the regulators and the exchange is aimed at reaching a compromise that will allow Binance to continue to operate and thus not provoke the collapse of the crypto market and negative consequences for users.
According to a source, Binance is looking to minimize the risks in any settlement, including insisting on a deferred prosecution agreement.
If Binance and the U.S. Justice Department agree to defer prosecution, the agency will file a criminal complaint against the company. The U.S. will not pursue criminal charges as long as the company complies with prescribed conditions, which typically include paying a substantial fine and agreeing to a detailed statement of facts supporting its misconduct. A process will be put in place to monitor the company's compliance.
According to a Bloomberg source, Minijuste is also investigating Binance for allegedly helping to circumvent U.S. sanctions against Iran and Russia. Binance is also under scrutiny for allowing transactions that helped fund Hamas.
Justice Department officials are pushing for a change in the company's management, but it is unclear whether other Binance executives besides Zhao himself will be charged in the case.
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