Cryptocurrency exchange Binance is reportedly facing a $4 billion demand from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in order to settle a criminal case. The Justice Department has been investigating Binance on allegations related to money laundering, bank fraud, and sanctions violations.
US DOJ Wants $4 Billion From Binance
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is reportedly seeking more than $4 billion from Binance Holdings Ltd. as part of a proposed settlement to conclude its multiyear investigation into the crypto exchange and its CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ), Bloomberg reported Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.
The Justice Department has been investigating Binance on allegations related to money laundering, bank fraud, and sanctions violations, the news outlet conveyed, adding that negotiations between Binance and the DOJ include CZ potentially facing criminal charges in the U.S. According to the publication, an announcement could come as soon as the end of this month and Binance is expected to pay more than $4 billion.
The settlement aims to find a middle ground to allow Binance to continue operations and avoid a potential collapse that could devastate crypto markets and cryptocurrency holders, according to three people familiar with the matter. Another person pointed out that the largest crypto exchange is seeking to minimize its exposure in any settlement, including pushing for a deferred prosecution agreement.
If a deferred prosecution agreement is reached between Binance and the DOJ, the Justice Department would initiate a criminal complaint against the cryptocurrency exchange, the publication detailed. However, the U.S. would not pursue prosecution provided the company adheres to agreed conditions, typically involving a significant penalty payment and a detailed admission of wrongdoing. A monitoring process would be established to oversee the crypto firm’s compliance.
Binance has faced legal and regulatory hurdles from various U.S. agencies, as well as heightened scrutiny from lawmakers. In June, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a lawsuit against Binance and Zhao. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) also sued Binance and Zhao in March. The world’s largest crypto exchange is seeking to dismiss both the SEC and the CFTC complaints. Last month, two U.S. lawmakers asked the DOJ to consider filing criminal charges against Binance, alleging that the crypto exchange’s platforms were used to fund Hamas and “have a history of allowing illegal activity to occur.”
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