(Bloomberg) -- The US Securities and Exchange Commission asked a federal court for permission to use “alternative means” to serve papers to Binance Holding Ltd. and Changpeng Zhao, noting that the crypto executive is “famously protective of revealing his whereabouts.”
The agency, which sued the world’s largest digital-asset exchange and Zhao for securities violations on Monday, asked the District Court in the District of Columbia to allow it serve any legal papers by sending copies of the documents to the attorneys who represented Binance and Zhao during the investigation that led to the legal case.
Binance has long claimed not to have a headquarters and has employees located all over the world. Zhao, who was born in China and is a Canadian citizen, is most recently believed to be in Dubai.
“Binance and Zhao are not the typical foreign entity and individual, as they are widely known for disagreeing with the premise of a headquarters or domicile, let alone identifying one, and Zhao is famously protective of revealing his whereabouts,” the agency said in the filing Thursday.
A Binance representative didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
The SEC sued Binance, Zhao and affiliated US entity Binance.US for “blatant disregard” of US securities laws, including mishandling customer funds and misleading investors and regulators, part of a widening crypto crackdown following a wave of blowups last year including the collapse of the Sam Bankman-Fried-led FTX exchange. On Tuesday, the agency filed an emergency action application for a temporary restraining order to freeze Binance.US’s assets in an attempt to protect customer funds, including through repatriation of client investments held abroad. Binance has disputed the allegations.
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.