Binance.US hires former SEC enforcement official amid lawsuit: Report

Binance.US hires former SEC enforcement official amid lawsuit: Report

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United States-based crypto exchange Binance.US reportedly hired a former United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) official as part of the legal team to defend itself against accusations of operating as an unregistered stock exchange.

According to a June 12 report from Bloomberg, Binance.US has hired former SEC Co-Head of Compliance George Canellos, currently with the international law firm Milbank LLP, along with three other attorneys. Canellos left the SEC in 2014 after serving for more than four years in various leadership positions.

“Binance is clearly preparing for criminal prosecution and continues to hire the best defense attorneys in the world.” saying former SEC internet enforcement chief John Reed Stark on Twitter. “Given the severity of the fraud alleged by the CFTC and SEC (which could also be the tip of the iceberg of any criminal prosecution), a DOJ prosecutor would no doubt seek prison time for anyone convicted or found guilty of Binance-related crimes. “.

Canellos’ addition to Binance.US’s legal team comes amid the US company facing an SEC lawsuit alleging it failed to register as an exchange, broker and clearing agency. The second made similar accusations against global exchange Binance in the same filing and Coinbase in a subsequent filing, and tried to freeze the assets from the US stock market through a temporary restraining order.

“If the Court addresses the merits of the SEC’s motion, it should deny that motion,” saying Binance.US in a June 12 filing on the SEC’s injunction to freeze assets. “The SEC’s proposed remedies would effectively end [Binance.US’] business. The SEC seeks, among many other things, a draconian and unduly onerous freeze on all company operations without exception.”

Related: Binance.US Stops Trading Dozens of USDT, BTC, BUSD Pairs Amid SEC Lawsuit

Following the SEC’s actions, Binance.US announced on June 9 that it would be suspension of US dollar deposits and potentially pausing fiat withdrawals starting June 13. The exchange cited the SEC’s “extremely aggressive and intimidation tactics” in its reasons for the move.

US lawmakers and industry leaders have criticized the SEC for its seemingly heavy-handed approach to crypto enforcement. On June 12, Representative Warren Davidson asked for dismissal from SEC Chairman Gary Gensler through a bill aimed at restructuring the commission.

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