the bongino report

Crypto Exchange Binance Pushes Back on Report of Potential Charges From DOJ

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance is pushing back on a report that says the Justice Department is undecided on whether it should charge the company and its executives as part of a criminal investigation.

Reuters, citing four people familiar with the matter, reported on Monday that the DOJ is divided on whether it should charge the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange with money laundering and criminal sanctions violations.

Binance tweeted a reply to the story on Monday stating, “Reuters has it wrong again,” without referencing a particular part of the report.

The sources told Reuters that the probe began in 2018 and that it will include prosecutors from three Justice Department offices including the Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington in Seattle, and the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team.

The possible charges unlicensed money transmission, money laundering conspiracy and criminal sanctions violations, the sources said.

Binance CEO Zhao Changpeng

Zhao Changpeng, chief executive officer of Binance, speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview in Tokyo, Japan, on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018. (Akio Kon/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Reuters also cited some DOJ prosecutors believed they had enough evidence to pursue similar charges against the company’s CEO, Changpeng Zhao, and several of his executives.

In a response shared with Reuters, a Binance spokesperson said, “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.”

Neither Binance nor the DOJ responded to FOX Business’ request for a statement.

Edward Moya, senior market analyst for Oanda, told FOX Business that “Binance is viewed as one of the last remaining giants that needs to survive for crypto to avoid a dangerous fall below the $10,000 level.” 

However, “It doesn’t seem traders are concerned that anything of substance will come from the Justice Department’s investigation,” Moya added. 

In November, the collapse of FTX spearheaded a growing demand for increased regulation of the cryptocurrency industry.

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