US Justice Department Investigating Binance for Violation of Russia-Related Sanctions: Bloomberg
The US Department of Justice’s National Security Division is conducting an investigation into whether Binance allowed Russian customers to access the exchange in violation of US sanctions related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to a Bloomberg report citing five people familiar with the matter.
The Justice Department’s investigation is another high-profile action against Binance following a 2021 joint investigation with the Internal Revenue Service against the global exchange. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has also been investigating Binance for its relationship with two firms owned by founder Changpeng Zhao since at least early 2022.
Spokespeople for Binance and the Justice Department did not immediately return requests for comment.
The Justice Department declined a Bloomberg request for comment.
A Binance statement to Bloomberg said the company fully complies with all US and international economic sanctions.
In late March 2023, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) sued Binance alleging that the company knowingly offered unregistered crypto derivative products in the US in violation of federal law.
The exchange has repeatedly pushed back against claims by saying it has built the world̵[ads1]7;s largest compliance team in the space — a 700-member team that “addresses 1,300 requests from law enforcement on a weekly basis,” according to head of compliance Tigran Gambaryan.
In recent days, Binance has claimed to have figured out how to keep North Koreans off its crypto exchange by kicking “their a** enough that they’re actually able to recognize that Binance wasn’t the place for them.”
In addition, in early May 2023, Israel reportedly disclosed that it had seized approximately 190 Binance accounts with alleged ties to terrorist groups, including two accounts belonging to ISIS. Since neither Israel nor Binance explicitly said Binance had cooperated, it is not clear how Israel took accounts on Binance without Binance’s cooperation, given Binance is not obligated to comply with Israeli laws.