U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson dismissed a motion from Binance.US, Binance Holdings Limited, and CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, seeking to curtail the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) language use in its press releases about the ongoing case against the crypto exchange giant.
Binance’s legal team argued that the SEC’s public pronouncements about the company’s handling of customer assets were not only misleading but could also prejudice the jury pool and cause undue market confusion. This complaint was a response to the SEC’s press release on June 17, where Enforcement Director Gurbir Grewal claimed that Binance could potentially commingle or divert customer assets at will.
Despite these assertions, Judge Jackson maintained that court intervention in “wordsmithing” the parties’ press releases was not necessary at this time, nor was it clear that the SEC’s public relations efforts would materially affect the proceedings of the case.
Binance faces global scrutiny
This development comes amid an escalating legal battle between the SEC and Binance, which began on June 5 when the SEC sued Binance and CZ for alleged violations of federal securities laws. The SEC initially sought a court order to freeze all Binance.US assets but later settled for an arrangement where only the exchange’s employees could access client funds.
Although the legal tension has primarily played out in U.S. courts, Binance also faces regulatory scrutiny worldwide. Amid the ongoing U.S. litigation, the company announced the launch of a regulated crypto platform in Kazakhstan on June 20. However, only three days later, the Belgian Financial Services and Markets Authority ordered Binance to halt its crypto exchange and custody wallet services. Furthermore, Binance has reportedly withdrawn its application with Austria’s financial regulatory authority.
Binance’s legal team has until September 21 to respond to the SEC’s allegations, with the SEC’s reply to the company’s pleading due by November 7.