Binance hires former IRS investigator amidst money laundering allegations

On Tuesday, Cryptocurrency trading platform, Binance revealed that it had hired Greg Monahan, a former IRS criminal investigator as the platform’s Global Money Laundering Reporting Officer (GMLRO), to investigate crypto money laundering allegations.

As it bets on reinforcing its existence in the digital currencies market, Binance played its latest card to reinvent itself as a regulated financial firm with governments and financial watchdogs paying close attention to the cryptocurrency industry.

“Binance has a strong culture of putting their users first, providing market-leading products to supporting high-profile investigations that help make the crypto industry a safer place,” Monahan stated in a statement on the company’s website.

Last month, Binance chief executive Changpeng Zhao praised the new hire as an exhibited initiative to get on better terms with global regulators, as it might lead to establishing regional headquarters for the trading firm.

“We have always held Binance to the highest standard to safeguard our users’ interests, and to that end, we are always expanding our capabilities to make Binance and the wider industry a safe place for all participants,” Zhao noted in his statement.

As for the company’s recently appointed GMLRO, Monahan has approximately 30 years of experience in government services, specifically as a Treasury Criminal Investigator, responsible for tax, money laundering, and multiple financial crime investigations.

Image Credit: Binance

“My efforts will be focused on expanding Binance’s international anti-money laundering and investigations programs, as well as strengthening the organization’s relations with regulatory and law enforcement bodies worldwide,” the new appointee added to his statement. 

In the past months, financial watchdogs from the U.S., Italy, UK, and Hong Kong, increased their scrutiny on the crypto-exchange platform as it prospered in a relatively unregulated environment.

According to Gizmodo, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) revealed that 720 consumers submitted complaints through the Freedom of Information Act since June 2020. The FTC complaints declared that Binance’s userbase can deposit money in the platform but could not get their money out.

In June, the Cayman Islands-based company received a warning from Japan’s financial watchdog for illegally operating in the country as it was never officially registered. To further highlight the global inspection, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, and Malaysia sent the crypto platform similar warnings.

In 2019, U.S. regulators banned its citizens from adopting Binance as their default trading platform, under the pretense of a national security breach and possible money laundering activities.