Binance Adds Veteran IRS Investigators in Push to Strengthen Compliance

Tigran Gambaryan becomes the cryptocurrency exchange’s VP of global intelligence while Matthew Price is senior director of investigations.

Sep 30, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 30, 2021 at 4:58 p.m. UTC

Binance’s ongoing efforts to pinpoint and prevent the illegal misuse of its platform continued Thursday with the announcement that it had added two more veteran investigators to its compliance and security team.

The hires come as Binance has faced scrutiny from regulators worldwide in recent months, including the U.S. and Japan. CEO Changpeng Zhao has acknowledged the company has more responsibility as the cryptocurrency industry grows larger and more complex.

The cryptocurrency exchange giant said Thursday it hired Tigran Gambaryan and Matthew Price, former special agents of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) Cyber Crimes Unit.

Gambaryan becomes Binance’s VP of Global Intelligence and Investigations. He reports to Binance Chief Security Officer Jimmy Su and helps lead the audit and investigations team, which looks to head off threats and financial losses and works with outside law enforcement agencies.

Price, who reports to Gambaryan, is serving as senior director of investigations. Both started in their new jobs earlier this month.

In the announcement, Zhao noted the exchange’s “investigations team now includes investigators who have worked on some of the most significant cyber investigations in history,” adding that “this level of experience will make Binance a leader in compliance, enhancing trust in Binance and the cryptocurrency ecosystem.”

The newcomers join recent recruits, former Europol investigator Nils Andersen-Röed and former California detective Aron Akbiyikian, who also ran investigations at Chainalysis and TRM Labs. In August, Binance named former U.S. Treasury enforcement investigator Greg Monahan as its global anti-money laundering officer.

Past cases

In a decade at the IRS-CI, Gambaryan headed multibillion-dollar cyber investigations, including the Silk Road corruption probes and Mt. Gox crypto exchange breach. His cases covered such areas as national security, terrorism financing and Bank Secrecy Act violations.

At the IRS-CI, Price headed international investigations into individuals and groups looking to use cryptocurrency for illegal intent, including the successful prosecution of the operator of Helix, a darknet mixing service that sent out transactions in mixed batches to mask the identity of senders. In his 15 years in law enforcement and intelligence, he has worked on cases involving money laundering, financial crimes and counterterrorism, among other areas.

Gambaryan called compliance “the first line of defense,” adding that he wanted to educate the worldwide law enforcement community on how Binance could help combat “the illicit use of cryptocurrency.”


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