The Public Ministry of Rio de Janeiro opened an investigation involving cryptocurrency broker Binance to investigate alleged losses of consumers due to account blocking. The procedure was initiated on January 19 and is conducted by prosecutor Julio Machado Teixeira Costa.

The 1st Public Prosecutor’s Office for Collective Protection for Consumer and Taxpayer Defense of the Capital added to the investigation a series of prints with complaints from exchange customers on the Reclame Aqui website. Complaints speak mostly of balance blocking.

Based on this, the prosecutor mandates that Binance respond within 30 days to allegations of potential harm to consumers made by customers on the complaints portal.

[Determina que] that the Defendants be formalized requesting a statement on the present and documents that instruct it, clarifying, demonstrably, within 30 days, about the reports of investors about withdrawal difficulties, the blocking and freezing of existing deposit balances”, states Teixeira Costa in the inquiry.

It also determines that a copy of the investigation be sent to the criminal area of ​​the MP for investigation of the coup that gave rise to the process.

MP-RJ placed complaints from Binance customers in the process (Photo: Reproduction)

Origin of the case

The initiation of the MP’s inquiry against Binance was born out of a specific case. A Binance customer apparently fell for a scam by a company called TMBIT and filed a complaint with the Public Ministry.

According to the victim’s report, a transfer of stablecoins was made from his Binance account to the platform, which would belong to TMBIT. These values ​​would have been used to buy tokens within this new platform.

When these tokens appreciated, the customer tried to sell. TMBIT then asked that a new deposit be made to release the withdrawal.

That new deposit was then made via Binance. But TMBIT did not release the withdrawals and made new demands. The customer then realized that he had fallen into a scam and asked for a chargeback from Binance, which was not answered.

In the complaint (Process 2022.01132666), the customer says he wants help “to take down this site and prevent new scams from happening”.

The focus of the process seems to be more centered on the bitstmb platform. But in the header both Binance and TMBIT Company appear as “represented”. And, soon after presenting the case, the prosecutor includes the brokerage client’s complaints and determines that it takes a position on the subject, in addition to the criminal investigation of the alleged scam.

In a note sent to Bitcoin portalBinance says that it “does not comment on ongoing lawsuits, but highlights that it operates in full accordance with the regulatory scenario” in Brazil “and in the world.

“The exchange reinforces that user protection and security are a priority and that it works in full collaboration with local and global authorities to prevent malicious people from using the platform. The exchange points out that it has a world-renowned investigation team, with former agents who work in constant coordination with local and international authorities in the fight against cyber and financial crimes”, says Binance.

MP will investigate withdrawal difficulties and balance freeze
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