Disagreements among U.S. Department of Justice prosecutors have caused a delay in the conclusion of a long-running criminal investigation into the biggest crypto exchange, Binance, as revealed to Reuters by four people familiar with the situation.
The investigation, which was initiated in 2018, focuses on Binance’s obedience to American anti-money laundering regulations and sanctions, according to the individuals.
Two of the sources told Reuters that some of the at least six federal prosecutors connected to the case think that the evidence gathered is enough to take vigorous action against the exchange and bring criminal charges against executives, including the founder Changpeng Zhao.
Nevertheless, the other sources have contended for more time to evaluate further evidence.
An inquiry has been launched by prosecutors from three offices at the Justice Department: the Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section (MLARS), the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington in Seattle, and the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team.
According to Justice Department regulations, the head of MLARS is required to approve any money laundering charges against a financial institution.
Moreover, the sources indicated that the superiors at the other two offices, in addition to higher-level DOJ personnel, would have to sanction any action taken against Binance.
The post states that an investigation by the Justice Department has been launched that involves prosecutors from three of its offices: the Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section (MLARS), the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington in Seattle, and the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team.
According to Justice Department regulations, any potential money laundering charges against a financial institution must be approved by the MLARS chief.
Moreover, it is believed that the heads of the other two offices and high-ranking DOJ officials must also agree to any action taken against Binance, according to three sources.
Almost a dozen individuals with knowledge of the case, including U.S. law enforcement officers, former advisors to Binance, and a review of corporate documents, have provided Reuters with the most comprehensive account yet of the investigation, how it has unfolded, and how Binance has been attempting to keep it at bay.
What the prosecutors have thought about possible prosecution of Binance has not been made known until now.