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US-based cryptocurrency exchange Binance is reported to be. US has hired a former law enforcement officer from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as part of a legal team to defend against allegations that it operates as an unregistered securities exchange.
According to a June 12 Bloomberg report, Binance. US has hired former US Securities and Exchange Commission co-CEO George Kanellos to join international law firm Milbank LLP along with three other lawyers. Canellos left the SEC in 2014 after more than 4 years in various senior positions.
“Binance is clearly preparing for criminal prosecution and continues to hire the best defense lawyers in the world,” former SEC head of Internet security John Reed Stark said on Twitter. “Given the seriousness of the fraud that the CFTC and SEC are alleging (which could also be the tip of the iceberg of any criminal charge), the DOJ prosecutor will most certainly seek jail time for anyone convicted of or pleading guilty to crimes related to Binance.”
Canellos joins the Binance legal team. US comes amid a SEC lawsuit against a US firm alleging it failed to register an exchange, brokerage and clearing agency. The SEC filed similar allegations against global exchange Binance in the same filing and Coinbase in a subsequent filing and attempted to freeze the assets of the US exchange through a temporary restraining order.
“If the court does consider the merits of the SEC’s motion, it should dismiss the motion,” Binance said in a statement. US dated June 12 on an SEC asset freeze petition. “SEC Proposed Remedies Will Effectively End Business [Binance. US]. The SEC is seeking, among other things, a draconian and overly onerous freeze on all of the company’s operations without any exceptions.”
Related: Binance. US suspends trading in dozens of USDT, BTC, BUSD pairs amid SEC lawsuit
Following the actions of the SEC Binance. The US announced on June 9 that it would suspend US dollar deposits and possibly suspend fiat withdrawals starting June 13.
U.S. lawmakers and industry leaders have criticized the SEC for its seemingly heavy-handed approach to cryptocurrency enforcement. On June 12, Representative Warren Davidson called for the dismissal of SEC Chairman Gary Gensler through a proposed bill aimed at restructuring the commission.