The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed an emergency motion in the District of Columbia U.S. District Court for a temporary restraining order against Binance, Binance.US and CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) on June 6, requesting eight actions.
The requested actions include the freezing of the assets of Binance.US and the repatriation of fiat and cryptocurrency held by U.S. customers or for the benefit of U.S. customers. In addition, the motion prohibits the defendants from destroying, altering or concealing records and imposes other sets of conditions on discovery.
According to the filing:
“This relief is necessary on an expedited basis to ensure the safety of customer assets and prevent the dissipation of available assets for any judgment, given the Defendants’ years of violative conduct, disregard of the laws of the United States, evasion of regulatory oversight, and open questions about various financial transfers and the custody and control of Customer Assets.”
The motion was accompanied by a proposed order, ready for the judge’s signature.
Assets belonging to U.S. customers are proposed to be transferred back to Binance.US within 10 days, and the defendants must transfer all customer crypto assets to new wallets with new private keys, which will be in the possession of BAM Trading officers and employees located in the United States. Customer assets would still be redeemable, although transfers over $100,000 will require special handling.
Under the order, the defendants would also be required to provide the SEC with a list of customer fiat and crypto assets and a list of Binance.US customers, along with their balances.
Protecting everyday investors from Wall Street to your street… Join us at the SEC!
We are hiring Attorney Advisors in the Division of Corporation Finance.
— U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (@SECGov) June 6, 2023
This move follows the previous day’s suit filed by the SEC against Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, for securities law violations. Many of the allegations against Binance had appeared in the press days earlier and had been dismissed by the exchange as a “conspiracy theory.”