In a recent development in the ongoing legal battle between the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and crypto exchange Binance, a US judge has denied Binance’s motion alleging SEC misconduct. The motion was filed by Binance to stop the SEC from making public statements on the case, claiming that the SEC’s statements were misleading and could impact the case and taint the jury pool.
However, Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled against Binance’s motion, stating that the court cannot “wordsmith” either party’s press releases. She emphasized that both parties need to adhere to their ethical obligations at all times but noted that court intervention to reiterate this point was not necessary at this time. She further stated that the SEC’s public relations efforts to date may not materially affect the proceedings in the case.
The motion came in response to the SEC’s press release on June 21, in which the regulator reiterated its allegations of commingling of user funds by Binance’s leadership. Binance, in its response, accused the SEC of publishing misleading facts about the exchange and its CEO, Changpeng Zhao, mishandling Binance.US customer funds.
While the court’s decision does not directly impact the merits of Binance’s case, legal experts have noted that it is not a favorable outcome for the exchange. Some have even regarded the motion as frivolous and more of a marketing tactic than a strong legal argument.
The court has also set a timeline for the early proceedings, with Binance pleading its case on September 21, 2023, and the plaintiff presenting their legal arguments on November 7, 2023. The court will then listen to replies starting December 12.
It remains to be seen how this legal battle between Binance and the SEC will unfold, but this recent development indicates that the court is not inclined to intervene in the parties’ public statements and press releases. Both Binance and the SEC will need to exercise caution and adhere to their ethical obligations during the proceedings.