U.S. Justice Dept. Appeals New York Judge’s Decision to Approve Voyager’s Sale to Binance.US
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The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed an appeal late Thursday evening challenging a bankruptcy court judge’s decision to allow Binance.US’ billion-dollar plan to acquire the assets of bankrupt crypto lender Voyager Digital.
The appeal, which was filed by the U.S. Trustee’s Office – an arm of the DOJ responsible for overseeing bankruptcies – comes just one day after Judge Michael Wiles of the Southern District Court in New York approved the deal after a contentious, four-day-long marathon hearing.
Regulators, including the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and various state regulators, have been staunchly opposed to the proposed deal. Last month, the SEC filed an objection to the purchase of Voyager, arguing that Binance.US may be violating federal securities laws by operating an unregistered securities exchange in the U.S.
However, Judge Wiles appeared to be unmoved by the SEC’s concerns, telling the lawyers present at the hearing that the federal Bankruptcy Code “doesn’t contemplate an endless period of time.”
“Things have to be done. We have creditors who are waiting and who in the midst of all of this uncertainty have no access to property in which they’ve invested, in some cases, their life savings, so we have to take some kind of action,” Wiles said. “We have to do something.”
Under the proposed sale to Binance.US, Voyager’s customers would see an estimated 73% recovery. The plan, which was assembled after the crypto exchange FTX – Voyager’s previous top bidder – filed for bankruptcy protection in November, was supported by 97% of Voyager’s creditors.
Read more: Voyager Bankruptcy Judge Expresses Skepticism Over U.S. SEC Objection to Binance.US Deal
If Voyager decides not to go through with the current plan to sell itself to Binance.US – or if regulators are successful in blocking the sale – another option is for the bankrupt lender to liquidate itself, which would likely result in much smaller returns for creditors.