Judge finds US case on Voyager-Binance.US deal has “substantial” merits.

On Friday, a judge in New York stated that the U.S. government has a strong case to prevent a $1 billion deal by Binance.US to acquire the assets of bankrupt cryptocurrency lender Voyager. District Judge Jennifer Rearden expressed a desire to quickly settle the dispute, as delays could cost the estate up to $10 million per month. While U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Michael Wiles approved the sale in March, Rearden put it on hold this week as she considered objections from the U.S. Attorney.

The objections claimed that the contract would render Voyager immune from breaches of tax or securities law. Voyager and its creditors have not countered the government’s arguments and provided no evidence to support the notion that a bankruptcy court can release criminal liability, according to Rearden. In a written statement on Friday, Rearden expressed sympathy for the government’s position, stating that the Exculpation Clause in the contract appears to go beyond what the quasi-judicial immunity doctrine allows.

Binance’s U.S. subsidiary pursued Voyager last year after the previous bidder, FTX, collapsed. This week, Binance and its CEO Changpeng Zhao were sued by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for offering unregistered crypto derivatives. Zhao responded to the lawsuit, claiming that it was an incomplete recitation of facts. Rearden has imposed a fast deadline to resolve the Voyager matter, with the government required to submit its brief by April 7th and a response from Voyager due by April 18th.