Binance hires former US Treasury official as anti-money laundering officer

18 Aug 2021

Image: © prima91/

Greg Monahan, formerly of the US Treasury, is the latest in a line of regulatory-focused recruits at Binance.

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has hired Greg Monahan, a former criminal investigator at the US Treasury Department, as its global money laundering reporting officer (GMLRO).

Monahan has three decades of experience in regulatory and criminal enforcement and “has led complex international investigations that have resulted in the takedown of some of the most prolific cybercriminals, nation-state actors and terrorist organisations,” according to the company.

“Binance has a strong culture of putting their users first, from providing market-leading products to supporting high-profile investigations that help make the crypto industry a safer place,” Monahan commented.

“My efforts will be focused on expanding Binance’s international anti-money laundering and investigation programmes, as well as strengthening the organisation’s relations with regulatory and law enforcement bodies worldwide.”

The company’s incumbent GMLRO Karen Leong, who has been in the role since 2018, will remain at Binance as director of compliance.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao added: “We have always held Binance to the highest standard to safeguard our users’ interests, and to that end we are always expanding our capabilities to make Binance and the wider industry a safe place for all participants.

“As a former US federal law enforcement investigator, Greg Monahan brings a wealth of anti-money laundering and investigations experience to Binance. We’re thrilled to welcome him to our team as GMLRO and we look forward to his contributions.”

The company has been on a recent “hiring spree” when it comes to regulatory compliance staff, according to Bloomberg. The hires include former US senator Max Baucus as policy and government relations adviser, experienced compliance officer Jonathan Farnell; and two former executives of the intergovernmental organisation Financial Action Task Force.

Zhao said in July that he is planning to step down as CEO, to be replaced by someone with a “very strong regulatory background”. The focus on compliance at Binance comes after months of regulatory issues for the company.

Last month, Binance suspended deposits under Europe’s SEPA network and placed restrictions on certain high-risk transactions. In June, it was outright banned from operating in the UK, followed by Italy and Hong Kong.

In May, Bloomberg reported that the company is under investigation by the US Department of Justice and Internal Revenue Service.

Jack Kennedy is a freelance journalist based in Dublin