Binance and CEO Changpeng Zhao intend to seek dismissal of CFTC complaint

Tuesday, 25 Jul 2023

Cointelegraph By Jesse Coghlan

Original Article

Binance, Changpeng Zhao and former compliance chief Samuel Lim intend to file two motions to dismiss a March lawsuit from the CFTC.

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Crypto exchange Binance and its CEO, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, are planning to file a motion asking a court to dismiss a lawsuit from the United States commodities regulator.

In a July 24 filing to an Illinois District Court, multiple Binance entities, Zhao and former Chief Compliance Officer Samuel Lim said that before July 27 they plan to file two separate motions to dismiss the complaint.

“The Foreign Binance Entities and Zhao intend to file a joint Motion to Dismiss the Complaint. Lim intends to file a separate Motion to Dismiss the Complaint, and join parts of the motion filed by the Foreign Binance Entities and Zhao,” the filing reads.

Binance is also seeking permission to exceed a 15-page limit on the brief, which would be used to support its motion. The exchange requested for the brief to go up to 50 pages, citing the complexity of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s March lawsuit against it.

An excerpt from Binance’s filing requesting an increase on the 15 page limit. Source: CourtListener

“Given the complexity of the CFTC’s Complaint and the number of arguments Defendants anticipate making in support of their Motions to Dismiss, Defendants anticipate that their Memoranda of Law in support of the two motions will exceed the fifteen-page limits.”

The CFTC sued Binance and Zhao in March, alleging the crypto exchange did not properly register with the regulator.

The CFTC claimed despite Binance blocking U.S. residents from transacting on its platform, since at least 2019 it knowingly conducted transactions in multiple cryptocurrencies for people based in the U.S. and intentionally violated U.S. laws.

The regulator also called Binance’s compliance process a “sham” and alleged it willingly conducted its activities outside of the U.S. and obscured the location of its headquarters with the aim of evading U.S. regulations.

Related: What criminal charges for Celsius ex-CEO mean for crypto industry

The Securities and Exchange Commission also sued Binance and Zhao on June 5, alleging it sold unregistered securities, allowed U.S. customers to use its global platform and claimed Zhao misused customer funds.

The SEC’s complaint claimed Binance’s compliance chief in 2018 — believed to be Lim — said in a message to another compliance officer that “we are operating as a fking unlicensed securities exchange in the USA bro”

Binance is also reportedly under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for allegedly allowing Russians to use its platform in violation of U.S. sanctions.

Cointelegraph contacted Binance and the CFTC for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

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Cointelegraph By Jesse Coghlan

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