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Disagreements Slow Federal Binance Investigation

 |  December 12, 2022

Disagreements among federal prosecutors have slowed an investigation into cryptocurrency exchange Binance.

Some of the prosecutors in the Department of Justice (DOJ) case say the government has enough evidence to charge the exchange — the largest in the world — and its founder, Changpeng Zhao, Reuters Monday (Dec. 12), citing unnamed sources.

Others have recommended taking more time to review evidence, Reuters said.

The crimes under investigation are unlicensed money transmission, conspiracy and criminal sanctions violations, according to the report. While no charging decisions have been made, prosecutors consider Zhao and other executives subjects of the investigation.

Related: Binance Ends Potential Deal to Acquire FTX

The DOJ has not returned a PYMNTS’ request for comment. A Binance spokesperson told PYMNTS that regulators are performing a “sweeping review” of every crypto company to deal with many of the same issues described in the Reuters report.

“This nascent industry has grown quickly, and Binance has shown its commitment to security and compliance through large investments in our team as well as the tools and technology we use to detect and deter illicit activity,” the spokesperson said.

Binance has had trouble with the federal government in the past, which has been overshadowed lately by the fall of rival crypto exchange FTX.

Binance played a role in bringing the problems at FTX to light last month after Zhao wrote on Twitter that his company would liquidate its FTT holdings — FTX’s token — prompting concerns from investors about FTX’s health.

Zhao and FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried had initially reached an agreement to have Binance acquire its smaller competitor, although Binance backed away from the deal following two days of due diligence.