- SEC files a sealed motion against Binance, a rare move in legal proceedings.
- The motion includes over 35 exhibits and a declaration from an SEC trial attorney.
- Speculations arise about the SEC’s intentions.
In a move that puzzled many, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a sealed motion against Binance. This rare legal maneuver allows the SEC to submit sensitive information without public disclosure.
The filing has sparked speculation about what this could mean for Binance and the broader cryptocurrency market.
The Sealed Motion and Its Implications
On Monday, August 28, the SEC submitted a sealed motion in its ongoing case against Binance. The motion included more than 35 exhibits and a declaration from Jennifer Farer, an SEC trial attorney.
John Reed Stark, a former SEC official with nearly 20 years of experience in the SEC Enforcement Division, said that the SEC filing a document under seal is very rare.
Unlike criminal prosecutorial filings, SEC motions are usually filed openly, serving the public interest by making the SEC’s actions and use of U.S. tax dollars transparent.
According to Stark, sealed filings usually indicate the presence of sensitive information. He outlined two reasons the SEC might opt for a sealed filing.
For one, the SEC might want to protect a witness or company. However, the agency usually redacts the document rather than sealing it.
Another possibility is that the SEC wants to avoid interfering with or revealing details about a criminal investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
Stark speculates that the sealed motion likely relates to an existing DOJ investigation into Binance. In particular, the investigation may involve money laundering allegations or other criminal conduct.
The DOJ’s investigation may include confidential informants, listening devices, or an active arrest warrant. Given how rare sealed SEC filings are, Stark notes that the situation is tricky to decipher and the outcome challenging to predict. Still, the situation indicates that Binance’s legal troubles in the US are far from over.
On the Flipside
- On August 3, reports surfaced that the DOJ prosecutors are debating whether charges against Binance could trigger a “run” on the exchange.
- Speculation over a DOJ investigation against Binance goes back to 2022. News outlets then reported that the agency may charge Binance for money laundering.
Why This Matters
The outcome of this case could set a precedent for how crypto exchanges are regulated in the U.S., influencing future SEC actions against other platforms.
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