Bitcoin ($BTC), Ethereum ($ETH) – US DoJ Seeks Correspondences Of Binance's Crypto-Money Laundering Inquiry

U.S. federal prosecutors have sought crypto exchange Binance’s extensive internal records about its anti-money laundering checks and communications involving its chief and founder Changpeng Zhao, Reuters reports citing a 2020 written request.

The Justice Department’s money laundering section urged Binance to hand over messages from Zhao and 12 other executives and partners on matters including the exchange’s detection of illegal transactions and recruitment of U.S. customers. 

It also sought company records with instructions that “documents be destroyed, altered, or removed from Binance’s files” or “transferred from the United States.”

The December 2020 request was part of a Justice Department ongoing investigation into Binance’s compliance with U.S. financial crime laws.

Earlier, Binance had denied the Reuters story regarding stolen crypto laundering allegations worth $2.4 billion via its platform between 2017 and 2021.

In a blog titled “The Crypto Money Laundering Myth and the Machine Working Overtime to Sell a False Narrative,” Binance slammed the Reuters report as “rife with falsehoods” which relied on massive leaps to conclusions and poor data.

The report cited Lazarus, Hydra, and Eterbase as different cases of fund laundering. The Lazarus attacks involved $1.75 billion stolen via Binance to fuel nuclear weapon programs in North Korea.

The group was held responsible for the Ronin sidechain attack and the Eterbase hack, involving $5.4 million stolen. The darknet platform Hydra also funded $780 million worth of drugs via Binance. The U.S. Justice Department, in collaboration with German legal forces, later seized their servers.

U.S. authorities reportedly investigated Binance’s violation of the Bank Secrecy Act. The Act requires crypto exchanges to register with the Treasury Department and comply with anti-money laundering requirements if they conduct “substantial” business in the U.S.

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