In the ongoing legal battle between the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Binance, recent developments have only escalated the conflict. The SEC has accused the U.S. Binance-related entities of withholding crucial information regarding the control of customer assets and failing to comply.
Former SEC official John Reed Stark believes that the SEC’s request for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) in the Binance case is much larger and more significant than usual. This led the judge to oversee the creation of a consent order, which is also unusually extensive compared to typical SEC cases.
In Stark’s opinion, there’s nothing exceptionally different about the SEC’s goals in the Binance TRO compared to their objectives in other TRO cases he worked on at the SEC Enforcement Division. They aim to halt ongoing fraud, protect assets from depletion, and hold all those involved in the fraud accountable, which is in line with their usual approach.
According to the SEC, Binance’s refusal to provide comprehensive information raises concerns about the safety of customer assets and their potential control by Binance Holdings Limited and Changpeng Zhao, the CEO, who are named in the SEC’s enforcement action.
The SEC demands that the court order BAM to provide responsive documents, communications, information, and inspection access, deny BAM’s Motion for a Protective Order limiting the SEC’s discovery, and extend the expedited discovery period.
“From a purely strategic perspective, the defense likely has a lot of other objectives, such as exhausting SEC resources, “keeping the SEC honest” during expedited discovery or even running up their own legal bills (lawyers need their beach houses too).”
The upcoming hearing on September 18, 2023, in front of Magistrate Judge Zia M. Faruqui is likely to be a heated event where both sides will argue their current disagreements. Binance’s response to the SEC’s concerns over Ceffu has been dismissive, with the company calling it “much ado about nothing.”
He said, “One thing for certain though, expect some fireworks at the 3:PM ET September 18, 2023, hearing before Magistrate Judge Zia M. Faruqui, where both sides will argue some or even all current discovery disputes.”