Catherine Coley, who was part of Binance.US, reportedly hired a lawyer when the US government started an investigation against Binance, according to an article published by Reuters on Wednesday (March 29).
James McDonald, a former federal prosecutor and a top official at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, is the lawyer Catherine Coley hired to represent her in the U.S. government’s investigations into the cryptocurrency exchange, as per Reuters, citing a person with direct knowledge of the situation.
However, court documents reveal that James McDonald, now a partner at the New York law firm Sullivan & Cromwell, acted as her attorney of record in a separate civil action against Binance.US in January 2022.
Binance.US and officials face increased regulatory scrutiny
This disclosure comes on the heels of reports that Binance spent years concealing its ties to China, contradicting the company’s assertions that it had left China once the government began cracking down on the cryptocurrency business in 2017.
Two days prior, on March 27, the CFTC also filed a complaint in federal court accusing Zhao, Binance Holdings Limited, Binance Holdings (IE) Limited, and Binance (Services) Holdings Limited of breaking the Commodities Exchange Act and CFTC rules.
According to the report, Coley is not included in the civil case that was announced, and it is unknown how she is doing in any other government agency’s investigations.
In mid-2021, Coley, is said to have quit Binance.US after a dispute with Changpeng Zhao (CZ) over the management of the American exchange, which was created to serve U.S. consumers in accordance with U.S. rules.
The CFTC said, without mentioning Coley, that when Zhao engaged BAM Trading as the operating firm for Binance.US, he called the international Binance.com exchange a “pirate ship” and stated he wanted Binance.US to be a navy ship.
According to the lawsuit, Zhao kept expanding and hiding the U.S. user base of the exchange while concentrating on keeping the liquidity and revenue that American users provided.
Moreover, it accused Samuel Lim, who served as Binance’s top compliance officer from 2018 until 2022, of encouraging these irregularities.