US Department of Justice Requests Records on Binance and CEO Changpeng Zhao in Money Laundering Investigation: Report

The money laundering section of the US Department of Justice (DOJ) is reportedly investigating the records of cryptocurrency exchange Binance and its CEO, Changpeng Zhao.

Reuters reports that in late 2020, US federal prosecutors sent a written request to the world's largest cryptocurrency platform by transaction volume to request internal records related to anti-money laundering controls.

Authorities reportedly wanted records of communication from Zhao and 12 other Binance executives and partners on matters such as how the exchange recruits customers and detects suspicious transactions.

They also want to seize records that contain phrases like “documents destroyed, altered, or deleted from Binance archives” and “transferred from the United States.”

People familiar with the matter told Reuters that the request is part of an ongoing investigation into Binance's compliance with financial crime laws in the US.

Investigators are reportedly investigating whether or not the cryptocurrency exchange violated the Bank Secrecy Act, which seeks to prevent the laundering of illicitly obtained profits in financial institutions. This law mandates cryptocurrency exchanges to register with the Treasury Department and comply with anti-money laundering requirements.

It is unclear how Binance and Zhao responded to the request. Binance Chief Communications Officer Patrick Hillman says regulators around the world are reaching out to major digital asset exchanges to better understand the cryptocurrency industry.

"This is a standard process for any regulated organization and we regularly work with agencies to address any questions they may have."

Sep 02, 2022

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