Bankruptcy judge rejects U.S. government’s request to delay Voyager-Binance.US deal

A bankruptcy judge has ruled in a court filing on March 15 that the $1 billion bid by Binance.US to purchase Voyager’s assets should proceed — rejecting the U.S. government’s request to suspend the proceedings while the appeal is pending.

Per the court filing, the ruling judge rejected the government’s plea for a delay of the bankruptcy plan’s implementation — known as a stay of the Confirmation order — for an additional two weeks.

On March 14, the government filed an appeal that alleged the bankruptcy plan would protect individuals involved in fraud, theft, or tax evasion, and requested the removal of a provision preventing legal action against them by U.S. authorities.

Voyager agreed in a separate deal to extend the previously scheduled March 15 effective date for the Binance.US purchase to March 20.

Voyager’s bankruptcy

In July 2022, Voyager submitted a petition for bankruptcy protection following the failure of Three Arrows Capital (3AC) — a cryptocurrency hedge fund — to fulfill a substantial loan obligation to Voyager.

At the time of the bankruptcy filing, the exchange possessed assets worth around $1.3 billion, with outstanding dues from 3AC of over $650 million — a significant decline from its year-end 2021 asset value of $5.8 billion.

Voyager-Binance.US back on

According to recent court documents, Judge Michael Wiles of the Southern District of New York has stated that the previously approved deal does not release Voyager and its employees from any tax or securities law infringements.

Wiles also warned that any delays in the proceedings would have a detrimental effect on Voyager’s clients who have been unable to access their cryptocurrency since the bankruptcy declaration in July 2022.

In his writing, Wiles stated that the government “exaggerate and in some places mischaracterize what I have done and the authorities on which I have relied, and in other instances rely on hyperbole or on ‘straw man’ arguments.” Provisions in the deal “do not prohibit any regulatory action, including actions to stop the cryptocurrency sales and distributions that the plan contemplates,” Wiles added. “Delays themselves also are a massive issue for the Debtors’ customers.”

Wiles’ rulings means that the provisions in the deal do not prevent any regulatory action, including actions to halt the cryptocurrency sales and distributions outlined in the plan, as has been otherwise reported in the media.

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