Breaking IRS & DOJ Set Sights on Binance to Root Out Illicit Activity

2 mins
13 May 2021, 18:09 GMT+0000
Updated by Ana Alexandre
13 May 2021, 18:13 GMT+0000
In Brief
  • Crypto exchange Binance is under investigation by the IRS and DOJ.
  • An independent report concluded that more illegal money is sent over Binance than any other crypto exchange.
  • Binance has seen similar investigations in Europe over stock trading tokens.
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Binance, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, is facing an investigation by the IRS and the DOJ. The government entities are looking for information from individuals with insights into the exchange’s business practices. 

Binance Holdings is currently under investigation by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), as per a Bloomberg report.  The goal is to try and suss out the illegal activity that has allegedly found a home within the unregulated crypto market and its biggest exchange. 

According to an anonymous source with insight into Binance’s practices, officials who handle money laundering and tax offenses are starting to ask questions. The exchange, led by Changpeng Zhao, has risen to dominate the current crypto exchange market since opening in 2017.  

In an official statement, Binance spokeswoman Jessica Jung said, “We take our legal obligations very seriously and engage with regulators and law enforcement in a collaborative fashion.”

Despite a policy on not commenting on specific inquiries, she goes on to say, “We have worked hard to build a robust compliance program that incorporates anti-money laundering principles and tools used by financial institutions to detect and address suspicious activity.”

Recently, a blockchain forensics firm, Chainalysis,  working with U.S. federal agencies, concluded that more funds tied to criminal activity went through Binance than any other single exchange. 

This has apparently raised a few eyebrows from U.S. officials who are concerned that cryptocurrencies are being used to hide illegal transactions along with aiding in tax evasion.  

U.S. officials who are involved in the probe include federal prosecutors with the DOJ’s bank integrity unit and U.S. Attorney’s Office lawyers. The specifics of what these officials are looking into are not yet known.

This is not the first time Binance has fallen under scrutiny from a government. They faced regulatory issues in Europe for stock trading services and even got a public tongue lashing from German regulators. 

As of this writing, neither the DOJ nor IRS have not released any official statements regarding the matter.


BeInCrypto has reached out to company or individual involved in the story to get an official statement about the recent developments, but it has yet to hear back.