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US government appeals approval of Voyager sale

CNA – The United States (US) Department Justice (DOJ) has appealed a court order approving Voyager Digital’s bankruptcy plan, creating a new hurdle for the crypto lender’s plan to sell its assets and transfer its customers to Binance.US in a deal valued at USD1.3 billion.

The US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the Office of the US Trustee, the DOJ bankruptcy watchdog, filed a notice of appeal on Thursday in US bankruptcy court in Manhattan.

US Bankruptcy Judge Michael Wiles, who is overseeing Voyager’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy process, had approved Voyager’s restructuring plan, which is built around the acquisition by crypto exchange Binance.US, at a hearing on Tuesday after overruling objections from the US Securities and Exchange Commission and DOJ.

Lawyers for the US Trustee and US Attorney’s office spoke up at hearings to consider Voyager’s bankruptcy plan to oppose provisions Voyager included to protect employees from potential legal claims resulting from actions taken during the bankruptcy.

They argued that Wiles’ order approving the plan was written too broadly, potentially preventing the government from bringing regulatory enforcement actions or criminal charges if misconduct was discovered later.

Wiles disagreed, saying that Voyager should not be penalised for carrying out a court-approved sale to Binance.US.

If the DOJ or any government agency had evidence of misconduct specifically related to the bankruptcy, they should have presented it in court, Wiles said.

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