Justice Department charges KuCoin and two founders with violating AML laws


United States Justice Department officials unsealed an indictment against cryptocurrency exchange KuCoin and two of its founders for “conspiring to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business” and violations of the Bank Secrecy Act, or BSA.

In a March 26 announcement, the U.S. Department of Justice said KuCoin founders Chun Gan and Ke Tang had willfully failed to maintain an Anti-Money Laundering program at the exchange, leading to the platform being used for “money laundering and terrorist financing.” The company itself was charged with operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business and violating the BSA.

“KuCoin and its founders deliberately sought to conceal the fact that substantial numbers of U.S. users were trading on KuCoin’s platform,” said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams. “Indeed, KuCoin allegedly took advantage of its sizeable U.S. customer base to become one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency derivatives and spot exchanges, with billions of dollars of daily trades and trillions of dollars of annual trade volume.”

Williams added:

“[I]n failing to implement even basic anti-money laundering policies, the defendants allowed KuCoin to operate in the shadows of the financial markets and be used as a haven for illicit money laundering.”

This is a developing story, and further information will be added as it becomes available.