Crypto exchange giant Binance and its CEO, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, are gearing up to counter the legal challenges the United States commodities regulator poses. In a recent filing to an Illinois District Court on July 24, various Binance entities, Zhao, and former chief compliance officer Samuel Lim announced their intention to file motions to dismiss the March-filed complaint before the looming deadline of July 27.
“The Foreign Binance Entities and Zhao intend to file a joint Motion to Dismiss the Complaint. Lim intends to file a separate Motion to Dismiss the Complaint, and join parts of the motion filed by the Foreign Binance Entities and Zhao,” the filing clarified.
Moreover, Binance is also seeking permission to expand the usual 15-page limit on its brief. The exchange wants it to reach up to 50 pages, citing the intricate nature of the lawsuit against them. It demonstrates the significance of the case and the comprehensive arguments they plan to make in support of their motions to dismiss.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) had previously filed a lawsuit against Binance and Zhao in March, accusing the crypto exchange of failure to register with the regulator properly. The CFTC alleged that despite Binance blocking U.S. residents from using its platform, they knowingly conducted transactions in multiple cryptocurrencies for U.S.-based individuals since 2019, thereby intentionally violating U.S. laws.
Consequently, the regulator further accused Binance of operating a “sham” compliance process and deliberately conducting activities outside the U.S. to avoid complying with U.S. regulations. These allegations put Binance under immense scrutiny and raised questions about its adherence to regulatory guidelines.
However, the problems for Binance didn’t stop there. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) joined the legal fray on June 5, suing Binance and Zhao. The SEC alleged that Binance sold unregistered securities, allowed U.S. customers to utilize its global platform, and accused Zhao of misusing customer funds,
In a damning statement, the SEC presented evidence of Binance’s compliance chief, likely Lim, admitting in a message to another officer that they were “operating as a fking unlicensed securities exchange in the USA bro.”
Besides, recent reports suggest that the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating Binance for permitting Russians to use its platform in violation of U.S. sanctions, adding further complications to the exchange’s legal battles.
Binance and CZ Zhao are facing multiple legal challenges and are determined to mount strong defences. However, the outcome of these lawsuits will significantly impact the future of the crypto exchange industry and may set important precedents for regulatory compliance. The crypto world eagerly awaits the court’s decisions.