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Circle denies claims of illicit financing and ties to Justin Sun

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USDC stablecoin issuer Circle has denied claims of illicit financing and ties to Tron founder Justin Sun, according to an open letter accessed from Circle’s blog on Nov. 30. A non-profit watchdog group previously accused Circle of having ties to Sun.

Circle open letter to U.S. senators Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown. Source: Circle.

The post was published on Nov. 11 and modified on Nov. 30, but Cointelegraph couldn’t determine the publication date of the letter itself. The letter was addressed to U.S. senators Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown and signed by Circle chief strategy officer and head of public policy Dante Disparte.

In the letter, Disparte claimed that Circle has “recently became aware” of “false” claims being made about it by the “so-called Campaign for Accountability (“CfA”). Circle “does not facilitate, directly or indirectly, or finance Hamas (or any other illicit actors),” Disparte stated. In addition, it does not “bank” or provide financial services to Justin Sun, he claimed.

Disparte dismissed the allegation that Circle facilitated “major flows of funds to Hamas or Hezbollah,” claiming instead that these accusations are based on uncorroborated, unverified posts to social media. “Only $160 was transferred in USDC among [illicit wallets]” the letter stated, adding that “none of that was acquired from Circle.”

Disparte also claimed that Circle stopped providing services to Justin Sun in February, 2023, stating:

“Neither Mr. Sun nor any entity owned or controlled by Mr. Sun, including the TRON Foundation or Huobi Global, currently have accounts with Circle. To date, the U.S. government has not specifically designated Mr. Sun or his entities as Specially Designated Nationals. Nonetheless, Circle terminated all accounts held by Mr. Sun and his affiliated companies in February 2023.”

The open letter from Circle appears to have been sent in response to a Nov. 9 letter from the non-profit ethics group Campaign for Accountability (CfA). CfA’s letter claimed that Circle has extensive ties to Justin Sun’s Tron Foundation and major Wall Street investors and that Sun’s cross-chain protocol, SunSwap, is often used for money laundering.

Related: WSJ debacle fueled US lawmakers’ ill-informed crusade against crypto

Claims that crypto is being used to finance terrorism have been commonplace since the Israeli-Hamas war broke out on Oct. 7. On Oct. 10, The Wall Street Journal reported that “over $130 million” of cryptocurrency had been donated to terrorist organizations. The media outlet later corrected its story, stating instead that $12 million in crypto “may have been” sent to these organizations.