‘House of Mirrors’: SEC Demands Urgent Inspection of Binance US Assets
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has gone after Binance US again, demanding that it cooperate and likening its investigation into the crypto exchange as “navigating a house of mirrors.”
The top regulator accused Binance US—which operates as BAM Trading Services Inc—of “half-hearted claims of irrelevance, prejudice, and burden” in Monday court documents.
Wall Street’s biggest regulator in June hit Binance, Binance US, and Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao with a hefty lawsuit, alleging that they violated securities laws.
It has since asked the U.S.-based crypto exchange to cooperate with a motion for expedited discovery in order to gain access to internal documents which reveal how the company operates, specifically who has control over customer assets.
The American company at first agreed but then refused and said the regulator was making “unreasonable demands” asking for such documents.
Earlier this month, the SEC accused Binance of a “lack of transparency” during its investigation into the crypto exchange.
Now, the SEC—ahead of a court hearing today—has said that the exchange has failed to cooperate and “stonewalled on entire categories of information that would likely shed light on its shaky assertions concerning the custody of customer assets.”
“The accelerating mass exodus of BAM employees, now including its CEO and others who may possess crucial information regarding the custody, control, and availability of assets, further underscores the urgent need for expedited discovery into these issues now,” Monday’s document said, referring to top executives leaving the company last week.
“This Court should reject BAM’s half-hearted claims of irrelevance, prejudice, and burden, and instead grant the Motion to Compel in its entirety.”
The SEC further alleged on Monday that the U.S. arm of the company has “provided an extremely limited amount of information” regarding Binance’s custody platform Ceffu. The SEC alleges that the company uses Ceffu to custody assets on Binance US.
Binance has always said that Binance US—for American customers—is a separate company run independently from its parent. A hearing will take place at 3pm ET on Monday, Sept. 18.