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US accuses KuCoin crypto exchange with anti-money laundering violations

Representations of cryptocurrency is shown in front of a Kucoin logo in this image shot on February 9, 2021.

March 26 (mod1s) - Federal prosecutors in Manhattan on Tuesday accused KuCoin, one of the world's biggest cryptocurrency exchanges, with breaching U.S. anti-money laundering laws by failing to verify users, enabling billions of dollars in illegal transactions to be moved since its creation in 2017.

Prosecutors claimed the Seychelles-based exchange solicited business from U.S. consumers without registering with the Treasury Department and putting in place processes to verify clients' identities as required by U.S. law.

KuCoin announced on social networking site X that customer funds are secure and company attorneys are investigating into the accusations.

"KuCoin respect the laws and regulations of various countries and strictly adheres to compliance standards," it claimed.

Prosecutors also accused the exchange's founders, Chinese nationals Chun Gan, 34, and Ke Tang, 39, with conspiracy. They remain at large, according to prosecutors.

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission separately filed a civil case against KuCoin saying it failed to register its futures and swaps activity with the regulator.

KuCoin in December agreed to exclude New York users from its site and pay $22 million to resolve the state's lawsuit accusing it of failing to register there.

KuCoin behind Binance, Coinbase and Kraken among cryptocurrency spot exchanges on parameters like traffic, liquidity and trading volumes, according to the analytics firm CoinMarketCap.

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