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Unprecedented U.S. Treasury Crackdown: Binance Settles for $4.37 Billion Over AML and Sanctions Violations

Money LaunderingUnprecedented U.S. Treasury Crackdown: Binance Settles for $4.37 Billion Over AML and Sanctions Violations

The U.S. Department of the Treasury, through FinCEN, OFAC, and IRS Criminal Investigation, has taken unprecedented action against Binance Holdings Ltd. and its affiliates for violating U.S. anti-money laundering and sanctions laws. Binance settled with FinCEN for $3.4 billion and with OFAC for $968 million. The violations include failure to implement programs to prevent transactions with terrorists and other criminals, as well as matching trades between U.S. users and those in sanctioned jurisdictions. Binance is also settling related matters with the Department of Justice and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen stated that Binance’s failures allowed money to flow to terrorists, cybercriminals, and child abusers. The settlements include a five-year monitorship and compliance undertakings to ensure Binance’s exit from the U.S. Treasury will retain access to Binance’s records for five years. The monitor will oversee remedial undertakings and periodic reviews.

FinCEN’s settlement is the largest in its history, and Binance admits to willfully operating as an unregistered money services business and failing to establish an effective anti-money laundering program. Binance also failed to report suspicious transactions, including those related to terrorist financing, ransomware, and child sexual abuse materials.

OFAC’s settlement reflects Binance’s high-volume transactions and senior management’s involvement in violating sanctions. Binance deliberately undermined its own sanctions compliance controls and could face additional penalties if it breaches compliance commitments.

IRS-CI led the criminal investigation, revealing Binance’s lack of an effective anti-money laundering program, failure to register as a money transmitter, and willful violation of U.S. sanctions. CI special agents played a crucial role in the civil penalties.

The actions underscore Treasury’s commitment to enforcing AML and sanctions laws in the virtual currency industry. The settlement amounts are historic, emphasizing the severity of Binance’s conduct.

Read the enforcement release below

By FCCT Editorial Team

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are independent views solely of the author(s) expressed in their private capacity.

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