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Former Binance.US CEO Brian Brooks Says CZ Is Responsible for the Exchange, Not Him

In recent developments, court documents have explained the reasons behind Brian Brooks’ departure as CEO of Binance US. In the transcript of an interview with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Brooks provides insight into the role of Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao and the differences he has encountered during his tenure.

Brian Brooks stated in court documents that he realized Changpeng Zhao (CZ) was the real CEO of BAM Trading, the entity behind Binance.US, not him. BAM Trading and BAM Management, affiliated with Binance.US, were at the center of the recent enforcement action against Binance. Brooks resigned roughly four months after taking it, citing differences in vision and decision-making authority.

Prior to joining Binance.US, Brooks served as Acting Comptroller of the Currency, a regulatory role within the US Department of the Treasury that oversees national banks and federal savings associations. During an SEC interview in 2021, Brooks emphasized the difference between governance and management, highlighting the CEO’s responsibility on management. He reveals that he was “rejected” in an attempt to address certain issues, making him realize that he was not really the person in charge and that the company’s mission was different from his initial expectations.

The SEC’s legal action against Binance and CZ accuses them of “blatant disregard for federal securities laws” and includes 13 charges. The crux of the allegations revolves around Binance’s creation of BAM Management and BAM Trading as a scheme to circumvent US law. Binance claims that Binance.US operates independently, but the SEC maintains that Zhao and Binance retain significant control over the US entity. This disclosure adds to the legal issues faced by Binance and its CEO, raising questions about their compliance with the regulatory framework.

Brian Brooks’ departure from Binance.US, as revealed in court documents, highlights the internal challenges faced by the company and sheds light on alleged regulatory violations leading to SEC legal action. As the investigation unfolds, it remains to be seen how this disclosure will impact Binance, its operations, and the cryptocurrency industry as a whole.

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