US officials investigating Binance over compliance with anti-money laundering laws, sanctions: report

(Image source: Shutterstock)

U.S. justice officials were looking into leading crypto asset exchange Binance over its compliance with the country’s anti-money laundering laws and sanctions, Reuters has reported. 

Prosecutors in the U.S. Department of Justice however remained split on whether to press criminal charges against the exchange and its individual executive including founder Changpeng Zhao, Reuters reported on December 12, citing unnamed people said to be familiar with the matter.

While about half of dozen prosecutors involved in the case believed the evidence gathered so far justified filing charges, others argued that more time was needed to review evidence, the report said.

Lawyers representing Binance have held meetings with Justice Department officials in recent months, arguing that a criminal prosecution would wreak further havoc on the crypto market that is already in a downturn, Reuters said.

A Binance spokesperson said in a statement that “We don’t have any insight into the inner workings of the U.S. Justice Department, nor would it be appropriate for us to comment if we did.”

The exchange platform wrote on Twitter that Reuters had it wrong again by attacking its law enforcement team. Binance said that in 2022, it had responded to over 47,000 law enforcement requests, increased security and compliance headcount by more than 500 per cent and participated in over 70 anti-cybercrime workshops with global law enforcement.