On Monday, U.S. regulators filed a lawsuit against Binance and its CEO Changpeng Zhao adding to the pressure on the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world and driving bitcoin to its lowest level in nearly three months.
The SEC disclosed this in a media release stating that Zhao allegedly ran a “web of deception.”
The SEC further asserted that Zhao, the millionaire creator of Binance and one of the most prominent figures in the cryptocurrency sector, surreptitiously controlled client assets and had free rein to mix and reroute investor cash “as they pleased.”
The US regulators filed 13 charges against Binance entities and Zhao.
Binance bills itself as world’s leading blockchain ecosystem and digital asset.
“We allege that Zhao and Binance entities engaged in an extensive web of deception, conflicts of interest, lack of disclosure, and calculated evasion of the law,” said SEC Chair Gary Gensler said in a statement.
The exchange is accused of failing to take the necessary precautions to prevent U.S.-based investors from accessing its platform, as well as deceiving investors about its methods for identifying and preventing manipulative trading.