On Friday, French newspaper Le Monde claimed that Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange, was under preliminary investigation by the Paris prosecutor’s office for illegal canvassing of clients and aggravated money-laundering.
All French financial institutions are subject to periodic on-site inspections by French regulators. According to a representative from Binance, “The appropriate authorities visited our office last week.”
“We will not comment on the specifics of law enforcement or regulatory investigations except to say that information about our users is held securely and only provided to government officials upon receipt of documented appropriate justification.”
When reached for comment, the Paris prosecutor’s office did not immediately respond. Binance has recently suffered a number of setbacks, including an accusation of securities law violations by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which was announced on June 5. Binance denies the SEC’s allegations.
The below tweet verifies the news:
BINANCE UNDER INVESTIGATION IN FRANCE FOR ILLEGAL CANVASSING: LE MONDE
— FXHedge (@Fxhedgers) June 16, 2023
Earlier on Friday, the company announced it would no longer be providing virtual asset service in the Netherlands due to a lack of regulatory compliance. Binance said in May of last year that it had applied to the French market authority and was planning to establish a European headquarters in the country.
In December, a group of French cryptocurrency investors filed a criminal case against Binance, accusing it of promoting its services before it was legally allowed to do so and of misleading the public. It was not clear if the preliminary inquiry by Paris prosecutors was prompted by that complaint.
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