In a recent development in the ongoing legal battle between the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Binance.US, a U.S. judge has declined the SEC’s immediate request for access to Binance.US’s software and other documentation.
The hearing, held on September 18, addressed the SEC’s motion to compel Binance to provide detailed information and increase the availability of its executives for depositions, Bloomberg reported.
Judge Faruqui’s decision not to grant immediate access to Binance.US’s software comes as a partial setback for the SEC in its pursuit of a thorough investigation into the cryptocurrency exchange.
The SEC has raised concerns about the custody of Binance.US customer assets and seeks to uncover potential connections between the American arm of Binance and its global affiliate, Binance Holdings Ltd, along with CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao.
Judge Not Inclined to Allow Any Inspection at This Time
During the hearing, Judge Faruqui expressed reservations about allowing the inspection at this time.
Instead, he suggested that the SEC should come up with more specific requests for discovery and engage with a broader range of witnesses.
This move appears to be an attempt to strike a balance between the SEC’s demands for transparency and Binance’s concerns of being burdened with excessive requests for information.
The SEC has repeatedly claimed difficulties in obtaining information from Binance.US since it initiated legal action against the cryptocurrency exchange on June 5.
The lawsuit alleges Binance.US’s involvement in the sale of unregistered securities.
SEC Accused Binance.US of Noncooperation
As reported earlier, the SEC has accused Binance.US of noncooperation in the investigation, highlighting that Binance.US’s holding company, BAM Trading, had only produced 220 documents during the discovery process.
Many of these documents were described as “unintelligible screenshots and documents without dates or signatures.”
The regulator also noted that BAM Trading had been reluctant to provide essential witnesses for deposition, agreeing to only four depositions of witnesses it deemed appropriate.
Binance, on the other hand, has characterized the SEC’s repeated requests for discovery as “unduly burdensome.”
This ongoing dispute over cooperation has added complexity to an already contentious legal battle.