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Crypto: Binance slams ‘wrong’ report about the DOJ considering money laundering charges against the crypto exchange

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“‘Reuters has it wrong again.’”

That was Binance refuting a report that claims the U.S. Department of Justice is mulling charges against the crypto exchange and some of its executives as part of a multi-year probe.

Reuters reported on Monday that DOJ prosecutors are divided over whether to charge Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, with violating U.S. anti-money laundering laws and sanctions. The article cited four anonymous people “familiar with the matter,” and said the DOJ investigation into Binance began in 2018. Bloomberg also reported that Binance was being investigated by the Justice Department in 2021.

The alleged charges being considered in the Reuters report include unlicensed money transmission, money laundering conspiracy and criminal sanctions violations. But there has been no decision on whether the DOJ will, if ever, file charges against Binance and its executives, the article noted.

The official Binance Twitter account referenced the “wrong” Reuters report in a Monday tweet that directed readers to the full statement it shared with the news outlet on the matter. This was later retweeted by the company’s CEO, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao.

“We don’t have any insight into the inner workings of the U.S. Justice Department, nor would it be appropriate for us to comment if we did,” the statement said. It added that Binance’s crypto ecosystem “has far less criminal activity on average than the traditional cash system.”

Read it in full here:

It’s unclear what specific parts of the Reuters report Binance is refuting, however, and Binance was not immediately available for comment. The Justice Department declined to comment on this story.

Related: Cryptocurrency investor losses are being turned into IRS gains — here’s how they’re doing it

And: Athletes like Tom Brady and Odell Beckham took crypto as compensation. As of now, that’s backfiring.

Binance has only tightened its grip on the crypto industry after rival FTX filed for bankruptcy last month.

And CEO Zhao has been critical of former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried in recent weeks, with Zhao telling him “the more damage you do now, the more jail time.” Bankman-Fried has said he “misaccounted” $8 billion in FTX funds.

Zhao also branded Bankman-Fried as “one of the greatest fraudsters in history.” Bankman Fried, aka “SBF,” was scheduled to testify in front of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday. His testimony will most likely be virtual.

Related: ‘I don’t see SBF stepping on U.S. soil anytime soon’: Bankman-Fried could risk being taken into custody if he shows up before Congress in person

Prices for bitcoin
BTCUSD,
-0.55%

 and ether
ETHUSD,
-0.85%

are down more than 60% over the past year as a crypto winter has continued to get colder. The total market cap for all crypto nearly hit $3 trillion during parts of 2021, but is now around $850 billion.

BookWatch: When frontline workers get the financial and career support they deserve, all employees benefit.

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