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Binance, CZ Claim Settlement With DoJ and FinCEN Irrelevant to SEC Lawsuit

Jai Pratap
Last updated: | 1 min read
source: GeekWire/ Taylor Soper

Binance Holdings and its former CEO, Changpeng Zhao, has filed a response to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) recent notice of supplemental authority concerning Binance’s settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

In its latest filing, Binance has claimed that the SEC’s attempt to incorporate the outcomes of the $4.3 billion guilty plea and settlement agreement with the DOJ is procedurally improper and impermissible.

The SEC’s move is seen as an effort to bolster its case against Binance Holdings and Changpeng Zhao, who have been embroiled in a legal dispute since June 5, 2023.

At that time, the SEC charged Binance with 13 violations related to securities laws, including allegations that Zhao and the company controlled customer assets on Binance US and engaged in the commingling or diversion of customer assets.

DoJ and FinCEN Settlement Irrelevant to SEC Lawsuit

In response to the SEC’s notice, Binance argued that the regulatory body failed to establish the relevance of the resolutions reached with the DOJ to the SEC’s asserted claims, dismissing them as ‘defective.’

The company, in court documents filed on December 12, 2023, contended that the SEC’s notice was procedurally flawed, constituting an impermissible supplemental brief that introduced new factual information and arguments without merit.

Highlighting the SEC’s attempt to leverage resolutions from other agencies, Binance pointed out a lack of notice regarding any pertinent regulatory authority on the part of the SEC.

The response emphasized that providing judicial notice is not a substitute for amending a complaint, and the SEC’s efforts to benefit from resolutions outside its jurisdiction further underscored the agency’s apparent lack of regulatory clarity.

As the legal saga unfolds, it remains uncertain how the SEC will substantiate its claims against Binance, specifically regarding allegations of operating unregistered national securities exchanges, broker-dealers, and clearing agencies.

CZ is currently waiting in the US to hear his sentencing in February where he could face a prison time of up to 18 months.