Binance.US has been accused of not cooperating in a probe by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which has said the company’s staking, clearing and brokerage services violate federal securities law, in court filings unsealed Thursday.
Federal U.S. regulators worry the crypto exchange’s use of Ceffu, a custody service offered by Binance’s international arm, violates a previous deal intended to stop assets being squirreled overseas.
Binance.US’ holding company, known as BAM, has provided “only approximately 220 documents … many that consist of unintelligible screenshots and documents without dates or signatures,” the SEC said, of the process of evidence-gathering known as discovery.
“The limited discovery BAM has provided to date raises questions about whether defendants are in violation of the consent order,” referring to an earlier legal deal to ensure only local U.S. staff have access to funds, added the document, which appears to be a partially unsealed version of one filed in August.
The SEC is worried about the company’s use of Ceffu, wallet custody software provided by the international entity Binance Holdings Ltd, meaning other entities in Changpeng “CZ” Zhao’s empire could have control over U.S. customer assets.
In a previous Sept. 12 filing, Binance.US called the regulator’s concerns over Ceffu “much ado about nothing,” and its demand for more documents a “futile fishing expedition.”
Merely creating wallets as provider of the Ceffu software doesn’t mean the company’s international arm has custody or access to customer funds, Binance.US said.
Faced with regulatory woes, which also include enforcement from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Binance.US announced this week that it shedded one third of its workforce, including Chief Executive Officer Brian Shroder. Departing staff also reportedly include the company’s head of legal and chief risk officer.