- Binance has hit back at more negativity from Reuters over its handling of criminal financial activity
- Reuters claims that a multi-party investigation of the company and CEO Changpeng Zhao has been ongoing since 2018
- Reuters is famously anti-Binance and has published several negative stories about it this year
Binance has defended itself amid claims from Reuters that a “long-running criminal investigation” into the exchange is not moving only because multiple U.S. agencies cannot decide how to proceed. Reuters, with whom Binance has had run ins in the past, cited “four people familiar with the matter” as saying that there was enough evidence against Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao to hit with with criminal charges, although those involved are only not acting on this because of the multiple sign offs involved. Binance denied the claims, saying that Reuters had “got it wrong again”.
Reuters Says Four-year Investigation is Stalled
In its report, Reuters claimed that a multi-agency investigation into Binance began in 2018 and is focused on its compliance with U.S. anti-money laundering laws and sanctions. The inquiry allegedly involves prosecutors at three Justice Department offices: the Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section (MLARS), the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington in Seattle, and the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team.
Reuters also said that Binance’s defense attorneys have held meetings in recent months with Justice Department officials, with such discussions including “potential plea deals”. It also said that “the Justice Department could bring indictments against Binance and its executives, negotiate a settlement, or close the case without taking any action at all.”
Binance Defends Law Enforcement Team
Binance hit back through Twitter, posting its full response to the claims and claiming that Reuters was “attacking our incredible law enforcement team” and saying that it doesn’t have “any insight into the inner workings of the US Justice Department”, meaning it couldn’t refute the claims that an investigation was actually happening:
Reuters has it wrong again.
Now they’re attacking our incredible law enforcement team. A team that we’re incredibly proud of – they’ve made crypto more secure for all of us.
Here’s the full statement we sent the reporter and a blog about our remarkable law enforcement team.
— Binance (@binance) December 12, 2022
Binance has had several run-ins with the notably anti-crypto Reuters, with members of the company’s compliance team having their say over the picture being painted of the exchange by the news outlet earlier this year and Zhao highlighting Reuters as the worst of a bad lot earlier.
Last year, Reuters famously blamed the lack of crypto regulation for its journalists not checking their facts when publishing a fake story about a partnership with Walmart and Litecoi, which helped to pump the price 30%.