SEC urges expedited discovery in Binance case; cites ‘mass exodus’ of US executives who may have key information
Three high-ranking Binance.US employees—including its CEO—have recently left the firm as pressure builds.
In a court filing, the regulator wrote:
“The accelerating mass exodus of BAM [ie. Binance.US] employees, now including its CEO and others who may possess crucial information regarding the custody, control, and availability of assets, further underscores the urgent need for expedited discovery into these issues now.”
Previous reports indicated that multiple executives have left Binance.US in recent weeks. Reports on Sept. 14 suggested that the company’s head of legal, Krishna Juvvadi, and its chief risk officer, Sidney Majalya, had both left the company. On Sept. 13, reports indicated that Binance.US CEO Brian Shroder had left the company. Furthermore, mass layoffs appear to be underway at the crypto exchange as well.
The SEC said that such staff exits emphasize the need for discovery into issues concerning the custody, control, and availability of customer funds. It urged the court to grant its own Motion to Compel and reject Binance’s objections.
That motion would force Binance.US and related companies to produce discovery information in various areas, including the nature of its crypto wallet custody and its relationship with the Ceffu wallet, communications regarding its control over customer assets, and other financial documents. Binance.US would also be compelled to submit to an inspection by the SEC and supplement its earlier interrogatory responses.
SEC case has developed since June
Though the regulatory lawsuit concerns Binance’s global and American companies alike, it has had a greater immediate effect on Binance’s U.S. operations.
Soon after its initial filing, the SEC sought a consent order against Binance.US in order to restrict the movement of its funds. Though only partially successful, that order weakened Binance.US’ relationships with certain partners. In response, Binance.US halted U.S. dollar transfers; it now acts as a crypto-only exchange with third-party USD on-ramps.