DOJ Taps London Firm to Monitor Binance Compliance Amidst AML Violations

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has appointed London-based consulting firm Forensic Risk Alliance (FRA) as an outside monitor for Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. This decision follows Binance’s admission of guilt for violating U.S. anti-money laundering (AML) regulations and sanctions laws in November 2023. As part of the plea deal, Binance is required to engage an independent monitor for three years, granting access to internal records, facilities, and employees to ensure compliance with regulatory standards.

The selection of FRA comes after controversy surrounding previous frontrunner Sullivan & Cromwell, a New York-based law firm. Concerns over its connections with defunct crypto exchange FTX and alleged lapses in detecting fraud involving FTX’s co-founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, prompted the DOJ to reconsider. However, Sullivan & Cromwell is anticipated to secure a separate five-year monitorship for Binance on behalf of the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). FRA’s expertise in forensic accounting, data governance, and compliance consulting, as demonstrated in previous cases such as the $661 million settlement negotiation with Gunvor SA, aligns with the DOJ’s mandate to ensure Binance’s adherence to regulatory standards.

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