Binance Moved Billions Through Two U.S. Banks, Regulators Say

Binance, the giant cryptocurrency exchange accused of mishandling customer funds, used two American banks to move billions of dollars around the world, the Securities and Exchange Commission said on Wednesday, detailing how huge sums of cash flowed in and out of the accounts sometimes within a span of days.

In court filings, the S.E.C. accountant, Sachin Verma, detailed a tangle of transactions that companies associated with the giant cryptocurrency exchange had made through two banks: Silvergate Bank and Signature Bank, both of which failed this year. The filing showed that Binance officials, including the company’s founder and chief executive Changpeng Zhao, moved hundreds of millions and in some cases billions of dollars through the regional banks to accounts associated with companies in places like Kazakhstan, Lithuania and the Seychelles.

The S.E.C. separately said it estimated unpaid taxes by Binance over the past four years carried an interest penalty of more than $13 million. Though it estimated that Binance earned almost $225 million from 2019 to 2023, the regulator didn’t say how much the company paid in taxes over the period, or how much it should have paid.

This week, the S.E.C. sued Binance in federal court in Washington, D.C., accusing the company of mishandling customer funds, lying to regulators and investors about its operations and engaging in manipulative trading. U.S. regulators have asked a federal judge to temporarily freeze assets tied to Binance’s subsidiary in the United States, and Wednesday’s filing was in support of that request.

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