Binance CEO steps down, crypto platform hit with record $4.3 billion in damages
The CEO of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, will step down after the company pleaded guilty Tuesday to violations of the Bank Secrecy Act, an anti-money laundering law, among other charges. The company will pay more than $4.3 billion to settle the charges, the largest penalty in the history of the Treasury department. In prepared remarks, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Binance was guilty of “consistent and egregious violations of U.S. anti-money laundering and sanctions laws.” The Justice Department said in a news release that Changpeng Zhao also pleaded guilty to failing to maintain ... (full story)
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tweet: "Binance and its leaders sought to dupe and indoctrinate their employees and customers, building a cult-like following," @CFTCbehnam says
The U.S. Department of the Treasury, through the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), and IRS Criminal Investigation (CI), has taken unprecedented action to hold Binance Holdings Ltd. and its affiliates (collectively, Binance) accountable for violations of the U.S. anti-money laundering (AML) and sanctions laws that protect American national security and the integrity of the international financial system. Binance is the world’s largest virtual currency exchange, responsible for an estimated 60% of centralized virtual currency spot trading. Today, Binance settled with FinCEN and OFAC for violations of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and apparent violations of multiple sanctions programs. The violations include failure to implement programs to prevent and report suspicious transactions with terrorists — including Hamas’ Al-Qassam Brigades, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), Al Qaeda, and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) — ransomware attackers, money launderers, and other criminals, as well as matching trades between U.S. users and those in sanctioned jurisdictions like Iran, North Korea, Syria, and the Crimea region of Ukraine. By failing to comply with AML and sanctions obligations, Binance enabled a range of illicit actors to transact freely on the platform. Today’s settlements are part of a global agreement simultaneous with Binance’s resolution of related matters with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). “Binance turned a blind eye to its legal obligations in the pursuit of profit. Its willful failures allowed money to flow to terrorists, cybercriminals, and child abusers through its platform,” said Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen. “Today’s historic penalties and monitorship to ensure compliance with U.S. law and regulations mark a milestone for the virtual currency industry. Any institution, wherever located, that wants to reap the benefits of the U.S. financial system must also play by the rules that keep us all safe from terrorists, foreign adversaries, and crime, or face the consequences.” tweet: US TREASURY'S YELLEN: FROM NOW ON TREASURY TO HAVE ACCESS TO BINANCE SYSTEMS AND ACCOUNTS TO MONITOR COMPLIANCE WHILE BINANCE SEVERS US CONNECTIONS #cryptocurrency #USTreasury $DoJ
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