23. September 2023

SEC Objection to Voyager-Binance.US Deal Questioned by Judge

• The US bankruptcy judge scolded the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for objecting to Voyager Digital’s proposed sale to Binance.US without providing specific details of its concerns.
• At a hearing in New York court, SEC attorney William Uptegrove said that the regulator was still deliberating and could not take a position on the matter yet.
• Judge Michael Wiles said he needed specifics if there were reasons to be concerned over the plan.

US Judge Questions SEC’s Objection To Voyager-Binance Deal

A United States judge has questioned the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over its vague objection to Voyager Digital’s restructuring deal with crypto exchange Binance.US. The bankruptcy judge scolded SEC attorney William Uptegrove at a March 2 hearing in New York court, asking for specifics on its concerns if it had any issues with the proposed sale.

Background of Deal

Voyager announced a restructuring plan on Dec. 19 to bring it out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy which would see Binance acquire its assets for $1.02 billion — an option Voyager said at the time represented the “highest and best bid for its assets”. The deal requires court approval, along with go-ahead from the SEC and Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

SEC Objection Filed

The SEC filed an objection to the sale on Feb. 22, claiming aspects of the restructuring plan could breach securities laws, namely crypto transactions that will need to happen to rebalance funds and redistribute them among Voyager account holders. At the March 2 hearing, Uptegrove said that while they cannot take a position as their process is nonpublic by federal law; however, Judge Michael Wiles asked him why they had not explained how they would address their concerns if they had any issues with it.

Judge Wiles’ Response

Judge Wiles hit back saying “deliberative is one thing, but what have you done?” and added that he needs specifics if there are reasons to be concerned about it. He will hear continued arguments on this case today (March 3).

FTC Investigation Announced

In related news, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced an investigation into allegations regarding “deceptive” practices by Voyager and potential violations of federal consumer protection laws like unfair or deceptive acts or practices occurring before or during its bankruptcy proceedings as well as criminal laws like fraud or embezzlement of customer funds or assets belonging to creditors/shareholders/etc..