Nearly $1 Billion, largest fine ever for transactions with sanctioned countries including Cuba – whistleblower alert

The U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has issued a fine of $968,618,825 against Binance Holdings Ltd. for 1,667,153 apparent violations of multiple sanctions programs, including dealing with users in Cuba, Russia, Syria and Iran. The company has paid the full fine. According to the feds, Binance did business for more than five years with users in sanctioned countries and persons on the OFAC block list, which constitutes a serious violations of the Company’s compliance with US sanctions. There are three whistleblower programs that would allow individuals to submit information through their attorneys to the federal government should they know of similar violations. They are the Securities & Exchange Commission, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission and The Financial crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN) of the Treasury department. Whistleblowers may be entitled to up to 30% of the monetary sanction that the government imposes based on the information the whistleblower provides.

In the Binance matter, the company also took steps to undermine its surveillance function, encouraging users to evade controls allegedly imposed by the company, resulting in (1) the direct or indirect export of goods and services from or by US persons to sanctioned jurisdictions and (2) Causing injury to US persons for engaging, directly or indirectly, in transactions with users in sanctioned jurisdictions and with prohibited persons, which are described as “clear violations.”

Binance and its founder, Changpeng Zhao, pleaded guilty Tuesday to violating criminal anti-money-laundering guidelines — a staggering blow against the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. The company will also pay a $4.3 billion fine, one of the largest ever levied against a corporation.

In the indictment issued against Binance by the US Department of Justice, it was revealed that the company was engaged in a vast money laundering scheme with Russia, Iran, Cuba and Syria.

According to Reuters, In April 2021, Russia’s financial intelligence unit met in Moscow with the regional head of Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange. The Russians wanted Binance to agree to hand over client data, including names and addresses, to help them fight crime, according to text messages the company official sent to a business associate.

Binance is not the only major corporation caught doing business with persons and companies sanctioned by the US and which are “blocked”. More will be revealed soon and it is clear that the feds are serious about halting this activity. STAY TUNED.

JEFFREY NEWMAN AND HIS FIRM ARE WHISTLEBLOWER LAWYERS WHO HANDLE CASES OF SANCTION VIOLATIONS UNDER THE SEC, CFTC AND FINCEN WHISTLEBLOWER PROGRAMS. IF YOU HAVE DETAILED INFORMATION ABOUT SUCH VIOLATIONS, YOU MAY REACH JEFF NEWMAN AT JEFF@JEFFNEWMANLAW.COM OR BY CALLING 617-823-3217. ALL OF THESE WHISTLEBLOWER PROGRAMS MAINTAIN THE CONFIDENTIALITY OF THE WHISTLEBLOWER’S IDENTITY.