Judge denies motion from Binance regarding allegedly ‘misleading’ SEC statementsJune 26, 2023
A federal judge overseeing the lawsuit between Binance.US, Binance Holdings Limited and CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao and the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has denied a motion that could have stopped the financial regulator from issuing public statements related to the case.
In a June 26 ruling in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Judge Amy Berman Jackson suggested it was unnecessary for the court to intervene regarding the basis for a motion from parties affiliated with Binance and Binance.US. The legal team filed a motion on June 21 alleging that the SEC misled the U.S. public in statements issued over the securities lawsuit, which had the potential of “tainting the jury pool” and introducing “unwarranted confusion into the marketplace.”
“While all of the lawyers in this case should adhere to their ethical obligations at all times, it is not apparent that Court intervention to reiterate that point is needed at this time, or that it is necessary or appropriate for the Court to get involved in wordsmithing the parties’ press releases,” said Judge Jackson. “Nor is it clear that the agency’s public relations efforts to date will materially affect proceedings in this case.”
The complaint stemmed from a June 17 press release from the SEC in which Enforcement Director Gurbir Grewal claimed CZ and Binance could “commingle customer assets or divert customer assets as they please.” Binance’s and Binance.US’ legal teams said the SEC statements were “misleading” and largely denied the allegations.
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Binance, Binance.US and CZ are all targets of a lawsuit filed by the SEC on June 5 alleging the exchanges offered unregistered securities to U.S. customers and Binance failed to register as an exchange or a broker-dealer clearing agency. The federal regulator originally filed a motion aiming to have the court freeze all Binance.US assets but ultimately reached a compromise agreement in which only the exchange’s employees would have access to client funds.
Amid the U.S. legal proceedings, Binance has continued its global operations, announcing the launch of a regulated crypto platform in Kazakhstan on June 20. However, on June 23, the Belgian Financial Services and Markets Authority ordered the exchange to stop offering crypto exchange and custody wallet services, and Binance has reportedly withdrawn its application with Austria’s financial regulatory authority.
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