A federal court has released indictments against Binance and CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, filed under seal on November 14, in which the US government said it expected the cryptocurrency exchange and CZ to plead guilty.
In filings on Nov. 14 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington in Seattle, the U.S. government said it requested to bring the allegations against Binance and CZ under seal, as any potential settlement of statement with the exchange and the CEO, as well as regulatory agreements, were “Likely to have a material effect on the company, its customers and the global cryptocurrency markets.” Authorities charged CZ with a felony for failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program at Binance, violating the Bank Secrecy Act.
“On the day of the plea hearings, the Government anticipates that criminal resolutions with Defendant Zhao and Defendant Binance will be announced simultaneously with important civil resolutions from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.” . [OFAC]the US Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. [FinCEN]and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission [CFTC]”said the November 14 presentation, adding:
“While Binance is not a publicly traded company, Binance is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world and news related to the criminal and civil liability of Zhao and Binance is likely to have a significant effect on the trading of various cryptocurrencies” .
“Cryptocurrency markets are volatile and subject to significant changes based on external events,” the document said. “Here, given the status that Binance and Zhao have among participants in the cryptocurrency and related markets, even simply registering a federal criminal case against either of them would alone have a significant impact on the market.”
The government compared potential volatility in the price of Binance Coin (BNB) to that of FTX Token (FTT) when the crypto exchange collapsed in November 2022, and former CEO Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried was charged with fraud federal. SBF was later found guilty on seven charges and awaits sentencing in March 2024.
According to court records, lawyers representing Binance and CZ appeared in court in separate hearings scheduled for the morning of November 21 to discuss the statements and possible arrest. CZ’s lawyers filed sealed motions regarding the Binance CEO’s probation pending sentencing in the case, but the content was not available at the time of publication.
Related: Binance’s $3.9 Billion Move Gains Community Attention Amid Justice Department Settlement Claims
A settlement for many of the criminal and civil cases against Binance and CZ in the United States is expected to be announced at 8:00 pm UTC on November 21 as part of a joint statement from the Department of Justice, the CFTC and the Department of Justice. Treasury. According to many reports, CZ has agreed to plead guilty and Binance will pay more than $4 billion as part of the settlement.
It is unclear at the time of publication whether any part of the announcement will refer to Binance’s pending civil case with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In June, the regulator filed 13 charges against crypto exchange Binance.US and CZ for securities law violations.
Magazine: Binance execs exodus, Nasdaq to trade AI orders and SBF loses bail appeal: Hodler’s Digest, September 3-9