US Seeks More Than $4B from Binance to End Criminal Case
The US Justice Department is seeking more than $4 billion from Binance Holdings Ltd. as part of a proposed resolution of a years-long investigation into the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange. Negotiations between the Justice Department and Binance include the possibility that its founder Changpeng Zhao would face criminal charges in the US under an agreement to resolve the probe into alleged money laundering, bank fraud and sanctions violations, according to people familiar with the discussions. Binance would likely be expected to pay more than $4 billion, which would be one of the largest-ever penalties in a criminal cryptocurrency case. If Binance and the DOJ agree on a deferred-prosecution-agreement, the Justice Department would file a criminal complaint against the company. With respect to possible sanctions violations, the Justice Department has been investigating Binance for allegedly aiding in the evasion of US sanctions against Iran and Russia, one of the people said. While Justice Department officials have been pushing for a broad leadership change at the company, it isn't clear if other Binance executives besides CZ would face charges in the case. Binance has faced legal and regulatory action from other US agencies, as well as increased scrutiny from US lawmakers.