New request letter surfaces, suggesting Binance and CZ were under investigation for money laundering crimes.
The United States Justice Department reportedly investigated the world’s largest exchange Binance and its founder Changpeng Zhao (CZ), for possible money laundering crimes.
Citing a late-2020 written request letter, Reuters noted today that the federal prosecutors had requested internal documents related to Binance money laundering checks.
Details of the Letter
The Justice Department also asked the exchange to submit internal communications between CZ and the trading platform’s 12 top executives and partners.
The authorities were specific about discussions relating to the exchange’s detection of illegal transactions and the onboarding of U.S. customers.
The authorities also requested for other records bearing instructions that “documents be destroyed, altered, or removed from Binance files.”
According to four people familiar with the matter, the request was part of an investigation into Binance’s compliance with the United States financial crime laws.
Anonymous Sources Confirm the Letter
Per the sources, the authorities are looking into whether Binance violated the Bank Secrecy Act, which requires all crypto trading platforms operating in the U.S. to comply with compulsory anti-money laundering laws and also register with the Treasury Department.
The Bank Secrecy Act was established to protect the United States financial sector from fraudulent activities, with offenders looking at a jail term of 10 years max. Since the request was made nearly two years ago, Reuters could not ascertain how Binance responded at the time.
Patrick Hillmann, Chief Communications Officer at Binance, told Reuters in response to questions about the letter:
“Regulators across the globe are reaching out to every major crypto exchange to better understand our industry. This is a standard process for any regulated organization and we work with agencies regularly to address any questions they may have.”
Authorities Investigate Binance Operations
Binance has been under widespread regulatory scrutiny across various parts of the world, including the United States.
Last year, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) launched an investigation into Binance’s operations for possible insider trading.
As reported by TheCryptoBasic, Pakistani authorities issued a notice to Binance following a 100 billion rupees fraud.