Binance Holdings and its former CEO, Changpeng Zhao, have responded to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) attempt to incorporate Binance’s admission of guilt in a $4.3 billion settlement with the Department of Justice (DOJ) into the SEC’s ongoing legal proceedings.
In a filing submitted to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on December 12, Binance argued that the SEC’s move was procedurally incorrect and should be disallowed.
The legal dispute between Binance and the SEC commenced on June 5, 2023, when the SEC accused the company of 13 securities law violations, alleging that Zhao and Binance mishandled customer assets on Binance.US and improperly redirected or mixed customer assets.
In November, the DOJ reached a separate settlement with Binance and Zhao, requiring a $4.3 billion penalty payment and allowing the company to continue its operations while complying with U.S. regulations.
Despite not being formally included in the settlement, the SEC argued that the federal court overseeing its case should consider the statements and acknowledgments made by Binance and Zhao in the DOJ settlement.
The SEC contended that these settlements indicated Binance’s awareness of operating in the U.S., serving U.S. customers, and utilizing U.S. infrastructure for transactions. Binance countered by asserting that the SEC failed to demonstrate the relevance of the resolutions with the DOJ to any of the SEC’s allegations against Binance Holdings and Zhao.
In documents submitted on December 12, 2023, Binance further argued that the SEC’s notice did not substantiate its claims made in the June 2023 lawsuit. It stated:
“The SEC Notice is an impermissible supplemental brief that identifies no new “authority” and instead attempts to introduce new factual information and arguments. This alone is reason to disregard it.”
The company emphasized that presenting a judicial notice is not a substitute for amending a complaint. Binance also suggested that the SEC’s attempt to leverage resolutions with other agencies implies a lack of information regarding the appropriate regulatory authority, questioning the SEC’s regulatory competence in this matter.
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