Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the District Court of the District of Columbia rejected a motion filed by lawyers representing the Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao, and Binance. The Binance lawyers wanted the Judge to reprimand the regulator for the language it used in a press release, which effectively accused the exchange and its founder of money laundering.
In the press release in contention, the Securities and Exchange Commission accused Binance of commingling funds from its US subsidiary, Binance US, with those of its global affiliate, Binance.
Court will not get involved in parties’ press release wordsmithing
While turning down the motion on Monday, the judge, in her ruling, said,
“While all of the lawyers in this case should adhere to their ethical obligations at all times, it is not apparent that Court intervention to reiterate that point is needed at this time or that it is necessary or appropriate for the Court to get involved in wordsmithing the parties’ press releases, nor is it clear that the agency’s public relations efforts to date will materially affect proceedings in this case.”
In the press release the Bianance team has issues with, the Securities and Exchange Commission said that funds from Binance’s US subsidiary were mixed with those of the global company through a network of complex intermediaries, and sent to other companies that Changpeng Zhao controls. Binance denied all the allegations prior to the SEC lawsuit. The SEC also alleged that Binance Global did not do enough to ensure that US VIP customers were restricted from using the exchange, but rather conspired with its staff to help them circumvent restrictions put in place by Binance itself.
SEC’s motion was also refused
The court also turned down a motion filed by the SEC at the onset of proceedings. The regulator wanted to freeze the assets of Binance US, citing the charges that Binance Global interfered with the funds placed in the exchange by US citizens. Judge Amy, who wasn’t convinced, directed the parties to reach a compromise that would enable Binance US to keep its business running while the lawsuit progressed.