Binance Helped Fund Wagner (Says Adam Cochran)

Adam Cochran suggests that Binance's woes may be much, much worse than previously thought.

A highly speculative thread suggests Binance laundered money for North Korea and Russia

In perhaps his most extreme thread yet, blockchain analyst and commentator Adam Cochran has accused Binance of creating a network of shell companies with the aim of helping Russian actors circumvent sanctions and funnel money to Russian private military company Wagner.

The latest accusations have been fueled by a WSJ article (subscription only), alleging serious criminal activity.

Cochran, a long-time critic of Binance, suggests that the criminal case against Binance and CZ could contain a number of different elements related to money-laundering.

Cochran's list of accusations includes:

  • CZ lost or embezzled funds, allowing third parties to blackmail him
  • He created a network of shell companies around Africa
  • He used existing Russian P2P solutions to enable Russian money to flow into Binance
  • He told customer service to point sanctioned users towards these services to circumvent restrictions

As if that wasn't enough, Cochran goes on to suggest that CZ used this P2P network and Binance to:

  • Move money from Russia to Nigeria to allow Wagner to pay its African forces
  • Allow the North Korea-sponsored Lazarus Group to wash illicit funds through their networks

Axe To Grind

Cochran, who often posts thought-provoking and incisive threads on X, has long held that Binance is guilty of various civil and criminal offences, that CZ has gone out of their way to hide them, and that a potentially devastating reckoning is due. He recently posted apocalyptic warnings about the worst-case scenario for Binance.

Last month, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) initiated a sealed motion in its lawsuit against Binance, prompting a wave of theories that criminal investigations were coming. Few have been as vocal about Binance's real and perceived shortcomings as Cochran. In this instance, however, his thread relies on circumstantial evidence and speculation, at best.

"I made it up" meme
X users were skeptical about Adam's sources.

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