In the ongoing legal clash between Binance, the prominent cryptocurrency exchange, and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), a significant hearing date has been scheduled for two crucial motions.
As per the recent court filing, Magistrate Judge Zia M. Faruqui has designated the hearing for Monday, September 18, at 1:00 PM ET.
The pivotal motions numbered 95 were filed by BAM Management and BAM Trading Services, the legal entity of Binance.US, and 102 by the SEC, respectively.
Motion 95, known as the protective order, aims to secure specific sensitive information filed by Binance’s affiliates.
Meanwhile, Motion 102, presented by the SEC, opposes the protective order and seeks permission to file certain documents under seal.
On the scheduled date, Judge Faruqui will listen to arguments from Binance’s affiliates and the SEC. The SEC is anticipated to argue against the protective order and request authorization to keep certain documents confidential.
In a joint motion submitted on Monday, Binance Holdings and Binance.US proposed a protective order to govern how sealed documents are treated and disclosed during litigation.
However, the US SEC has a different stance, seeking additional details from Binance.
Binance.US also submitted sealed documents for the proposed order and opposed the SEC’s motion to compel, among other requests.
SEC vs. Binance Legal Standoff Intensifies as Key Executives Resign and Layoffs Are Announced
The filing made on September 12, is the latest development in the legal standoff between the SEC and Binance, where Binance.US has called the ‘compel and reply’ motion by the SEC unreasonable and “unduly burdensome.”
In the court documents, Binance.US argued that the depositions requested by the SEC are excessive. The defendant’s attorneys highlight that the SEC’s claims revolve around custody, transfer, and commingling of user assets, for which ample evidence has been provided by staff members with direct knowledge of the matter, including the chief information security officer, Erik Kellogg.
The subsequent day saw the resignation of Brian Shroder, the President and CEO of Binance US. While the reason for his departure was not disclosed, Norman Reed, the Chief Legal Officer, has been appointed interim CEO.
In response to this news, Binance also announced the termination of over 100 employees, constituting approximately one-third of its workforce.
CEO Changpeng Zhao attributed these layoffs to the SEC’s actions, accusing the commission of hampering the industry and impeding American jobs and innovation.
The SEC’s aggressive attempts to cripple our industry and the resulting impacts on our business have real-world consequences for American jobs and innovation, and this is an unfortunate example of that.
This legal battle began in June, when Binance was charged by the US Securities and Exchange Commission with 13 charges against Binance.US and its CEO, Changpeng Zhao, for allegedly violating US securities regulations.
These charges encompass offering unregistered securities and failing to restrict US investors from accessing the Binance.com platform.
Binance.US refuted the SEC’s allegations of misconduct in non-motion documents, asserting that there is no evidence of commingled funds, control by Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, or diversion of customer assets.