A report from Fortune on Thursday revealed that top executives at the crypto exchange had handed in their resignations over the last week amid growing regulatory scrutiny on the firm and its CEO.
The firm’s General Counsel Han Ng, Chief Strategy Officer Patrick Hillmann, and Senior Vice President for Compliance Steven Christie have all quit the firm – a decision that followed the recent departure of Matthew Price, a former IRS agent who oversaw global investigations and intelligence for Binance since 2021.
A source close to the matter told Fortune that Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao’s response to investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) was to blame for the executives’ sudden exits. The investigation is reportedly centred around Binance’s alleged money laundering, sanctions violations and attempts to trick U.S. regulators.
However, Hillmann, the now former strategy chief at Binance, said otherwise on Twitter, suggesting that his departure was for personal reasons rather than a fallout with the crypto exchange’s CEO.
“It’s true that I am leaving Binace, but I’m doing so on good terms. I continue to respect and support Changpeng Zhao and am grateful for having had the incredible opportunity to work under his leadership,” tweeted Hillmann.
— CZ 🔶 Binance (@cz_binance) July 6, 2023
Zhao also addressed the departure in a tweet, ascribing the event to regular turnover as opposed to the “completely wrong” reasons dreamed up by the news.
“As markets and the global environment for crypto changes, as our organization evolves, and as personal situations change, there is turnover at every company. We thank all of our ex-team members for their contributions to our growth, and wish them all the best,” said Zhao.
Meanwhile, Binance, its U.S.-based subsidiary and the exchange’s founder Zhao face a lawsuit from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which alleges that the entities violated federal securities laws. The U.S. Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) also filed a lawsuit against Binance two months prior.