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Binance.US Faces SEC Probe Over Customer Asset Custody, Amid Legal and Regulatory Challenges

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has voiced concerns regarding Binance.US’s compliance with inquiries into customer asset custody and other fundamental aspects of an ongoing investigation.

According to a joint status report filed to a Washington, D.C. District Court on March 5, Binance.US, operated by BAM Trading Services, has not satisfactorily responded to SEC requests, particularly about the handling of customer assets.

The SEC requested the court’s assistance to expedite the discovery process, indicating a deadlock with Binance.US over crucial inquiries the company has either avoided or failed to address.

The SEC highlighted Binance.US’s reluctance to fulfill basic discovery obligations, including the provision of document attachments, metadata, and written responses.

A significant area of investigation for the SEC is whether Binance’s non-U.S. branches had access to the U.S. customers’ assets, specifically questioning Binance.US’s control over private keys and other access methods.

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In defense, Binance.US refuted the SEC’s allegations in the joint status report, claiming full compliance with the SEC’s extensive demands for information.

The company argued that the SEC’s accusations regarding customer assets were baseless and asserted that it had exceeded its legal responsibilities by submitting extensive documentation on its asset custody practices, including sworn statements, monthly reports, and facilitating inspections of shared custody devices.

This legal conflict follows the SEC’s lawsuit against Binance, its U.S. division, and founder Changpeng “CZ” Zhao in June of the previous year, accusing them of selling unregistered securities and improperly mixing customer funds with a different company owned by Zhao.

Additionally, on November 21, Binance settled with the U.S. Department of Justice for $4.3 billion over charges of breaching anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing laws.

As part of this settlement, Zhao admitted to money laundering offenses and awaits a sentencing hearing on April 3, which could result in up to 18 months of imprisonment.

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Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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