• Binance Appoints Ex-Treasury Investigator as Global AML Chief

  • Binance, a global cryptocurrency exchange, has appointed Greg Monahan, a former federal investigator, as its global head of money laundering reporting.

    Monahan will be based in Washington and will be in charge of an existing team after spending the majority of his career as a U.S. government criminal investigator, leading cybercrime investigations at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Karen Leong, the former head of money laundering, will now be director of compliance, according to the company.

    “My efforts will be focused on expanding Binance’s international anti-money laundering and investigation programs, as well as strengthening the organization’s relationships with regulatory and law enforcement bodies around the world,” Monahan explained.

    Binance’s scramble for compliance

    When regulatory investigations target financial firms, a flurry of compliance hires is a natural strategic response. Binance is currently under such scrutiny and is responding appropriately. Binance is not only being investigated by the Department of Justice and the IRS for possible illegal activities. Furthermore, the crypto industry is bracing for new rules, such as IRS amendments on reporting crypto transactions.

    Binance has spent significant resources recruiting employees with government experience in order to appease regulators. Former executives from the Financial Action Task Force, as well as former Democratic Senator Max Baucus, have been hired. Furthermore, Binance is courting Singapore Exchange’s former chief regulatory officer Richard Teng to serve as its chief in the Asian financial center.

    However, Chia Hock Lai, co-chairman of the Blockchain Association Singapore, believes that the potential appointment of a former regulator will not be sufficient to appease regulators in major financial centers. This is possibly one of the reasons Binance is making such a concerted effort in its compliance efforts.

    Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao has stated that hiring people with compliance and regulatory experience is his top priority. The Chinese-Canadian recently admitted that he spends almost all of his time on compliance and is “not really involved in the exchange’s day-to-day operations.”

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