US Judge Amos Mozzant has declared Binance not guilty in a Tinder ‘pig butchering’ scam, ruling that the plaintiff couldn’t sufficiently prove the world’s biggest crypto exchange actually has any involvement in the case.
The plaintiff, Divya Gadasalli, filed the lawsuit in March 2022, with Binance, Poloniex, TD Bank, and Abacus Federal Savings Bank as respondents. According to her, Binance offered exchange services to the perpetrator, making them complacent in the elaborate Tinder romance scam.
However, Judge Amos Mazzant ruled on May 23, 2023, that Binance wasn’t involved in the scam, and moreover, the plaintiff didn’t sufficiently prove that the fraud occurred in the State of Texas.
We don’t operate in the US
In response to the suit, Binance’s counsel prayed to the court to dismiss the motion, arguing that the company does not operate in the U.S. or Texas. So, the court has no jurisdiction over the multinational crypto exchange, nor does Binance have any business with the case.
On the other hand, the plaintiff’s counsel argued the company has more business ties to the United States than it cares to admit in its prayer. Divya Gadasalli also argued that the company uses a subsidiary (Binance.US) to operate in the country, advertises, and works with the country’s law enforcement, effectively making it an operating company in the jurisdiction.
However, the judge disagreed with Gadasalli, maintaining that her conditions don’t meet the bar for listing Binance as a respondent to her suit. While the judgment admitted Binance’s ties to the U.S. through its stateside arm, it disagreed that this makes Binance subject to its jurisdiction.
A small but significant win for embattled Binance
For the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange by client count and market capitalization, winning a lawsuit in a pig-butchering scam is small but nonetheless significant, offering a glimmer of hope amid ruthless travails with regulators worldwide.
Looking beyond the pig-butchering lawsuit, Binance is facing other legal troubles in the United States, with one being the CFTC lawsuit alleging market manipulation and trading violations. The company is also struggling in Australia, where it has announced that it will no longer support deposits and withdrawals via bank transfer due to a fallout with a payment provider.