DOJ to announce ‘significant’ crypto enforcements alongside CFTC, Treasury

The Department of Justice will announce “significant cryptocurrency enforcement actions” during an upcoming press conference Tuesday afternoon. 

Alongside Attorney General Merrick Garland, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco and CFTC Chair Rostin Behnam are all expected to speak. 

The conference will “announce separate but related cryptocurrency enforcement actions.”

It’s unclear what kind of enforcement action will be announced, though — as reported by Blockworks on Monday — the Justice Department and Binance have been working toward a multibillion-dollar settlement that would prevent an FTX-like crash. 

The DOJ has investigated Binance for a few years, and people familiar claim that the settlement could be between $4 billion to $5 billion. It would allow Binance to continue operating and give law enforcement access to its database. 

However, the press conference may not be related to Binance, as the DOJ announced this morning that it also seized $9 million of Tether from a scam operation exploiting victims through “romance scams and cryptocurrency confidence scams.”

Tether, on Monday, said it froze $225 million in USDT after it collaborated with a DOJ investigation that also included the US Secret Service and OKX.

The funds, Tether claimed, were linked to a Southeast Asia-based human trafficking ring “responsible for a global ‘pig-butchering’ romance scam.”

The DOJ also has not been the only government entity active in targeting cryptocurrency companies this week. Late Monday, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a suit against crypto exchange Kraken’s parent companies. 

No high-ranking official from the SEC will be present at Tuesday’s press conference.

The suit alleges that Kraken commingled customer funds and failed to register as an exchange.

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