The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange platform, Binance, has hired Greg Monahan- a former US Treasury Criminal Investigator, as its new Global Money Laundering Reporting Officer. The company’s latest appointment is part of its attempt to comply with global watchdogs, and redesign itself as a regulated financial firm.
Binance has been under scrutiny by global regulators all over the world. Governments and financial watchdogs have enacted stringent rules that pose a challenge for exchanges like Binance that have thrived in a loosely regulated environment. In recent months, a string of complaints has been filed against Binance by regulatory bodies in Britain, Italy, Thailand, Hong Kong, the U.K, Japan, Malaysia, Germany, and the United States.
In April, German regulators mentioned that the exchange risked being fined for offering tokens connected to stock.
In May, Binance was under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service.
In June, the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) banned Binance from undertaking any regulated activity in the country. Japan’s financial regulator also warned that Binance was operating in the country illegally.
In July, Thailand’s Securities and Futures Commission filed a criminal complaint against Binance on claims that it was operating a digital asset business without a license. A few weeks after, under increased pressure from regulators, Founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao said that he was willing to relinquish his position as Chief Executive Officer whenever a successor who could do a “better job” was found.
Binance said that it plans to strengthen relations with regulatory and law enforcement bodies, with its appointment of a former US Federal Law Enforcement Investigator, and it feels confident that Greg Monahan will bring a “wealth of AML and investigations experience” to the firm. Binance explained that Monahan has 30 years of experience in credit government service, with a large part being as a US Treasury Criminal Investigator, him being responsible for tax, money laundering, and other similar financial crime investigations. Additionally, Greg Monahan has led international investigations resulting in the takedown of notorious cyber-criminals and terrorist organizations.
In a statement, Greg Monahan stated that his efforts would be focused on expanding Binance international anti-money laundering and investigation programs, as well as resolving Binance’s issues with regulatory agencies worldwide. “Binance has a strong culture of putting their users first, from providing market-leading products to supporting high-profile investigations that help make the crypto industry a safer place,” Greg Monahan remarked.
The former GMLRO, Karen Leong, who held the position since 2018, will remain at the company as the Director of Compliance. While Binance has grown its international compliance team and advisory board by 500 percent since last year, not all of its recent hires have stayed. Brian Brooks, the Chief Executive of Binance’s US arm, and formerly acting US Comptroller of the Currency resigned earlier this month, just three months after taking up his role.