Bloomberg reports that Binance Holdings Ltd. has recently hired M. Kendall Day, a former prosecutor from the US Department of Justice (DOJ), as their attorney to represent them in the ongoing lawsuit initiated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Court documents submitted on Thursday revealed Binance’s decision to bring on board Day as part of their legal team. As per Day’s profile on Gibson Dunn & Crutcher law firm’s website, he served as Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the DOJ’s Criminal Division for an impressive 15 years. Additionally, he held the position of Head of the Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section (MLARS), a division under the jurisdiction of the DOJ. In this capacity, Day held nationwide regulatory authority over the DOJ’s money laundering investigations, including deferred prosecution agreements and non-prosecution agreements involving financial institutions.
It’s worth noting that as early as last year, a Reuters article on the DOJ’s four-year investigation into Binance mentioned the hiring of Kendall Day to facilitate communication with the DOJ, with Day even meeting with DOJ officials in Washington.
In recent weeks, both Binance and Binance.US have been strengthening their legal teams in anticipation of the SEC’s lawsuit. On June 13th, George Canellos, a partner at Milbank’s New York office, was announced as their legal advisor. Canellos, who previously served as Co-Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, currently oversees global litigation and arbitration at Milbank.
On June 5, 2023, the Securities and Exchange Commission took decisive action by charging Binance Holdings Ltd., Binance.com (the world’s largest crypto asset trading platform), BAM Trading Services Inc. (Binance’s US-based affiliate), and Changpeng Zhao (Binance’s founder) with various securities law violations.
Furthermore, on June 17, 2023, the Securities and Exchange Commission secured emergency relief in its ongoing litigation. All defendants, including Binance Holdings Limited, BAM Management US Holdings Inc., BAM Trading Services Inc., and Changpeng Zhao, agreed to repatriate assets held for the benefit of Binance.US customers back to the United States. To safeguard the interests of customers and protect their assets, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued an order prohibiting BAM Trading Services Inc. and BAM Management US Holdings, Inc. from utilizing corporate assets except for regular business operations. This order ensures that Binance.US customers retain the ability to withdraw their assets from the platform and guarantees the protection and localization of assets remaining on the platform until the resolution of the SEC’s pending litigation against Binance Holdings Ltd., BAM, and their founder, Zhao.