US investigates Binance CEO for money laundering

According to an investigation by Reuters, the US Department of Justice has asked Binance for the communication records of Changpeng Zhao, who visited El Salvador last March.

The US Department of Justice has asked Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency platform, to provide information and records related to anti-money laundering policies, as well as messages and communications related to the company’s CEO, billionaire Changpeng Zhao.

According to the news agency article, the request by federal prosecutors in that country to the company dates back to 2020, but according to sources linked to the process, the investigation is still ongoing.

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In this sense, the request from the US Department of Justice will require Binance to voluntarily hand over messages exchanged by Zhao and 12 other executives of the company, in order to determine information related to cases involving disclosure of illegal transactions. As well as messages about the destruction of important documents, according to Reuters.

In the investigation, prosecutors are also looking for signs that important documents within the company have been sent outside the United States, or that Binance files have been altered or deleted.

Primarily, prosecutors are investigating whether Binance, headed by Zhao, has violated the so-called Bank Secrecy Act in its operations, which seeks to protect the US financial system and requires cryptocurrency platforms to register with the Treasury and comply. Requirements within the United States.

The above applies if these platforms, also known as exchanges, do “significant” business within the US, which Binance does.

Changpeng Zhao is the CEO of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency platform. Photo: AFP

In this case, if they do not comply with the provisions of this law, the person or persons involved in this violation can be subject to penalties of up to 10 years in prison, the publication details.

Several previous Reuters articles reported that Binance’s low controls on cryptocurrency exchanges allowed criminals to launder about $2.35 billion, including criminals in countries that may not have financial ties with the United States.

Changpeng Zhao is known in El Salvador as having visited the country last March on a tour of several Latin American countries.

During his visit, he met with the Salvadoran president, Nep Bukele, with whom they talked about various issues related to investments in Bitcoin, according to Zhao himself at the time.

Plus: More than half of all bitcoin transactions are ‘fake’, according to Forbes

Also, in April of this year, the CEO of Binance said via Twitter that his company would create jobs for young Salvadorans. “We at Binance have taken a different approach to help solve the gang problems in El Salvador. Create job opportunities for young people,” El Zhao said on April 16.

However, as of now, there is no additional information about the jobs announced by the tech pioneer.

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