NEW YORK, Nov 21 (Reuters) – Binance Chief Executive Officer Qiao Changpeng is part of a $4 billion settlement resolving a years-long investigation into illegal financial violations at the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. According to two sources familiar with the matter, the company will admit to violating U.S. law. .
He will also resign and plead guilty to violating U.S. anti-money laundering requirements in federal court in Seattle on Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. Reuters could not immediately confirm this report.
The agreement resolves allegations that the company violated illegal financing and money laundering laws and involves the Department of Justice, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Treasury Department, the people said.
The company will pay $3.4 billion to the Treasury Department’s Office of Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and $968 million to the Treasury Department’s Sanctions Division, one of the people said.
Binance’s former chief compliance officer Samuel Lim will also be indicted as part of the settlement, another person said, adding that Binance also needs to correct its lapses.
Lawyers for Zhao and Binance, as well as a company spokesperson, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment. The CFTC and Treasury Department did not respond to requests for comment.
Binance has been under surveillance by the Justice Department since at least 2018, Reuters reported last year, just one of the legal headaches the company faces in the United States.
In December 2020, federal prosecutors at the agency asked the company for internal records related to its anti-money laundering efforts and communications involving Mr. Zhao, who founded the company in 2017.
The CFTC filed a civil complaint against Binance in March, accusing the company of failing to implement an effective anti-money laundering program to detect and prevent terrorist financing.
Internally, Binance executives and employees acknowledged that the platform facilitates “potentially illegal activities,” the CFTC claimed.
In February 2019, Lim, Binance’s former chief compliance officer, received information about transactions for the Palestinian militant group Hamas on Binance, the CFTC wrote.
Mr. Chao, a billionaire who was born in China and immigrated to Canada at the age of 12, said the CFTC’s “complaints appear to contain an incomplete recitation of the facts and that many of the characterizations of the issues alleged are incorrect.” We cannot agree.”
Report by Chris Prentice. Additional reporting by Tom Wilson and Elizabeth Howcroft in London.Editing: Michelle Price, Lisa Shoemaker
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