The US Department of Justice is engaged in advanced negotiations with cryptocurrency exchange Binance over a proposed resolution to a multi-year investigation. The DOJ is seeking a settlement amount of over $4 billion from Binance, according to people familiar with the confidential talks shared with Bloomberg.
- Settlement discussions include potential criminal charges against Binance founder Changpeng Zhao (CZ).
- Charges relate to alleged money laundering, bank fraud, and sanctions violations.
- Proposed agreement aims to allow Binance to keep operating.
While specifics are still minimal, the DOJ aims to strike a balance, allowing Binance to continue business while accounting for alleged past violations.
Potential charges stem from DOJ investigations into Binance allegedly assisting sanctions evasions and money laundering. The criminal division, national security division, and Seattle US attorney’s office are leading probes.
$4 billion settlement charges could be the largest against a crypto firm
If finalized, the charges of over $4 billion would rank among the largest for a crypto firm. It follows the Department’s conviction of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried on fraud charges earlier this month.
Binance has allegedly enabled transactions with Iran, Russia, and Hamas in violation of sanctions, according to the SEC. The company has faced mounting US regulatory scrutiny, with recent lawsuits from the SEC and CFTC.
The proposed agreement may involve a deferred prosecution deal, which would see charges filed but not pursued if Binance meets the prescribed conditions. These likely include paying a substantial fine and outlining violations. However, the DOJ has yet to make a public announcement regarding this reported $4 billion settlement.