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Treasury fines Binance $3.4 billion for failure to report suspicious activity by terrorists

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Tom Gantert

(The Center Square) - The U.S. Department of Treasury Tuesday levied a $3.4 billion fine against Binance Holdings, Ltd. in a settlement with the world's biggest cryptocurrency exchange for failure to prevent and report suspicious transactions with terrorist organizations.

Binance was accused by the Treasury of failing to implement programs to prevent and report suspicious transactions involving terrorist groups such as Hamas' Al-Qassam Brigades, Al Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

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The U.S. Justice Department stated in a media release that one Binance compliance employee joked in a February 2019 chat that the company needed a banner that said, "is washing drug money too hard these days – come to binance; we got cake for you."

“Binance turned a blind eye to its legal obligations in the pursuit of profit," Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen said in a media release. "Its willful failures allowed money to flow to terrorists, cybercriminals, and child abusers through its platform. Today’s historic penalties and monitorship to ensure compliance with U.S. law and regulations mark a milestone for the virtual currency industry."

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The settlement also includes five years of monitoring by Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and ensures Binance will make a complete exit from the U.S. Binance also agreed to a $968 million settlement with the Office of Foreign Assets Control.