Binance’s lawyers have alleged in a new filing that the SEC chair Gary Gensler offered to be an advisor to the crypto exchange he is suing in 2019.
Documents filed by the SEC on Wednesday reveal that two attorneys from Binance’s law firms allege that the SEC chair offered to serve as an advisor to the exchange in several conversations in March 2019. The filing further claims that Gensler met Zhao in Japan for lunch later that month, CNBC reported.
Earlier, the US SEC filed 13 charges against the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume.
Binance-Gary Gensler relationship dates back to 2018
As per Binance’s lawyer, the SEC chair was trying to cozy up to the company before he started going after Binance. The Wall Street Journal previously reported on Gensler and Binance’s relationship, citing internal Binance messages and a person close to the SEC chair. Both suggested that Binance approached Gensler.
The filing claims Zhao continued to stay in touch with Gensler after the March meeting. And at the future SEC chair’s request, Zhao sat down for an interview with Gensler as part of a cryptocurrency course he was teaching at MIT.
In 2019, Gensler was scheduled to testify before the House Financial Services Committee, and he reportedly sent a copy of the intended testimony to the Binance CEO.
Gensler’s relationship with Binance may affect the lawsuit
The latest revelations, if true, would have a direct effect on the Binance lawsuit. If Gary Gensler had personal relationships with Binance, then it might be considered a conflict of interest on his part. The charges against Binance may lose their weight given Gensler voted to bring the lawsuit against the exchange. This is not the first time Genseler’s personal relationship with crypto projects has come to light. A video of the SEC chair shows him “shilling” Algorand as a great project in 2018, which he later deemed as security.
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