Binance secretly had access to a bank account of its U.S.-based partner and transferred more than $400 million from that account to a trading firm managed by Chief Executive Officer Changpeng Zhao, Reuters reported.
The transfers happened over the first three months of 2021, with money moving from the Binance.US account at Silvergate Bank to trading firm Merit Peak Ltd., Reuters said, citing banking records and company messages. The transfers started in late 2020, the report said.
Reuters said it couldn't determine whether the transferred funds belonged to U.S. customers, or the reasons or the reasons the funds were moved. Executive at the U.S. firm were reportedly concerned about the moves because they didn't know they were taking place, Reuters said.
A Binance spokesperson didn't immediately respond to calls and email from The Block seeking comment.
In a statement to Reuters, Binance.US spokesperson Kimberly Soward said the outlet was reporting "outdated information," but didn't address questions about the transfers. Parent company Binance did not respond to Reuters, nor did Zhao or Prime Trust, a custodian firm that was also listed as holding customer funds for the U.S. exchange. Silvergate told Reuters it doesn't comment on individual customers.
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