anti-money laundering

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FinCEN and Federal Reserve Seek Comments on Proposed Amendments to the Recordkeeping and Travel Rules

On October 23, 2020, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the ‘‘Board’’) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) (collectively, the “Agencies”) issued a joint Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) soliciting public comment on questions relating to potential amendments to Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”) regulations. The proposed … Continue Reading

FinCEN Imposes First of its Kind Civil Penalty against Cryptocurrency Money Service Business

On October 19, 2020, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) released its assessment of a $60 million civil monetary penalty against the operator of two cryptocurrency “mixers” for violations of the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”).[1] The action marks the first effort by FinCEN to target the use of these “mixers” to facilitate money laundering and … Continue Reading

4 Compliance Tips Amid Increased Ransomware Scrutiny

In light of two new US Treasury Department advisories signaling increased oversight of ransomware payments, victim companies and their third-party response teams considering making payments should follow certain due diligence and compliance best practices, write Colin Jennings, Ericka Johnson, Dylan Yépez and Elizabeth Weil Shaw in an article for Law360.… Continue Reading

Cryptocurrency Exchange and its Executives Face Allegations of Failing to Maintain an Adequate AML Program

Two U.S. authorities recently announced actions against four individuals and numerous entities associated with BitMEX, an online trading platform for futures contracts and other derivative products tied to the value of cryptocurrencies.  Both actions allege that BitMEX failed to put in place required anti-money laundering programs and procedures, and serve as a reminder that institutions … Continue Reading

FinCEN Director Blanco Encourages Increased Communication During Global Pandemic

In remarks to the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (“ACAMS”), Kenneth A. Blanco, the Director of the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”), covered a number of high-priority topics, including FinCEN’s response to the pandemic, the latest COVID-19 related fraud schemes, emerging cyber threats, virtual currency issues, and important regulatory updates.  A theme … Continue Reading

The White House Directs Federal Agencies to Focus on Fairness in Investigations and Enforcement

On May 19, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, President Trump signed Executive Order 13924, to provide regulatory relief for entities economically impacted by the pandemic.  Section 6 of the Executive Order directed agencies to revise their procedures and practices in administrative investigations and enforcement in light of certain enumerated principles of fairness.  It … Continue Reading

FinCEN’s New Rule Impacts Banks Lacking a Federal Functional Regulator

On September 14, 2020, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) issued a final rule  (“Rule”) requiring the minimum standards for anti-money laundering programs for certain institutions lacking a Federal functional regulator.  The Rule applies to banks that lack a Federal functional regulator, including, but not limited to, private banks, privately … Continue Reading

Responding to Financial Crime Risks during COVID-19

Over the past few months, numerous organizations and agencies—including the intergovernmental Financial Action Task Force, UK Financial Conduct Authority, Dubai Financial Services Authority, and U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network—have stressed the need to preserve the integrity and security of the global payments system during and after the pandemic.… Continue Reading

IBK Settlements with US Authorities Regarding BSA/AML Violations

On April 20, 2020, the Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK) and its New York branch (IBKNY) (collectively, “the Bank”) entered into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY), a non-prosecution agreement (NPA) with the New York Attorney General, and a Consent Order (the “Consent … Continue Reading

Recent Developments in AML/CTF Initiatives

Financial institutions and other relevant entities should take notice of two recent developments in anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing initiatives.  First, European Union member states had to transpose the EU’s Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive by January 10, 2020—that is, member states had to implement certain rules into their respective national legislations by that date.  Second, … Continue Reading

Judge Tosses FCPA Jury Verdict

On February 26, 2020, Judge Janet Bond Arterton, a federal judge for the District of Connecticut, overturned a former Alstom SA executive’s conviction under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) relating to a project to build power plants in Indonesia. Judge Arterton found that, despite a jury verdict to the contrary, prosecutors failed to prove … Continue Reading

Recent South African Publication on Non-Profit Organizations and Financial Crimes

South Africa’s Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) recently issued a public compliance communication on anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism relating to non-profit organizations (NPOs). The publication aimed to create “awareness within the NPO sector around the vulnerabilities that NPOs face,” and sets out Financial Action Task Force (FATF) principles relating to NPOs.… Continue Reading

United Arab Emirates Financial Centers Enhance Economic Security and Business Viability

In an earlier post, here, we examined Law No. 20 of 2018 on Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism and Illegal Organizations, the new Federal AML Law enacted by the United Arab Emirates (“UAE”) to ensure best practice anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing measures. In this post, we consider how the UAE’s two … Continue Reading

United Arab Emirates Issues New AML Law in Context of FATF Evaluation

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental organization founded 30 years ago to develop and uphold policies to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, is conducting a peer review (or “mutual evaluation”) of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) this year. FATF last assessed the UAE in 2008, and found the country’s systems and frameworks … Continue Reading

South Africa Publishes More About Money Laundering Vulnerabilities

As noted in a prior blog post, South Africa’s Financial Intelligence Centre (“FIC”) periodically releases financial crime typologies and case studies. Recently it published information about typologies in two different lines of business: (1) casinos and the gambling industry, and (2) the property sector, discussed in this post.… Continue Reading

New OFAC CAPTA List Targets Foreign Banks

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) recently announced the creation of a new list of sanctioned parties specific to foreign financial institutions (“FFIs”). The Correspondent Account of Payable-Through Account Sanctions (the “CAPTA List”) identifies FFIs that are prohibited or severely restricted from opening or maintaining a U.S. correspondent account.… Continue Reading

Linguistic Clues Narrow Identity of Country A in Mueller Probe

Fascination continues about the identity of Country A in Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference.  An unidentified corporation is a witness in the investigation and is owned by Country A. Recent developments provide clues in the unredacted portions of unsealed court rulings and party filings.  Based on linguistic analysis of court rulings and pleadings, Kristina … Continue Reading

Will Russia Provide Missing Links to Murder, Kickbacks, Bribery?

The case against Leonid Teyf, a Russian citizen, in a federal court in North Carolina has enough juicy facts for an international crime novel. The U.S. prosecutors need evidence to convict Teyf and his accomplices of the central charges, stemming from an alleged kickback scheme in Russia. Will Russia provide missing links?… Continue Reading

Russia Continues Anticorruption Efforts in 2019

Russia continues its anticorruption efforts in 2019. These efforts build upon numerous convictions last year.  In January 2019, despite the two-week public winter break, two significant cases developed. Beyond seeking additional convictions, the Russian government will implement public anticorruption outreach this year.… Continue Reading

Britain Lifts Veil of Financial Secrecy for Overseas Territories

The UK Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act signifies major changes to the UK’s anti-money laundering and sanctions regimes. Britain’s overseas territories, often criticized as tax havens, are now required to establish public registries of beneficial corporate ownership by December 31, 2020. The Act also includes a Magnitsky Amendment, modeled on U.S. law, enabling sanctions against … Continue Reading

Circuit Rejects Expansive Use of Conspiracy for FCPA

The Second Circuit issued its judgment on the case we have been monitoring, U.S. v. Hoskins. The court held that the “government may not expand the extraterritorial reach of the FCPA by recourse to the conspiracy and complicity statutes.”… Continue Reading

The Yacht Equanimity: a Symbol of Corruption?

This month, former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who served from 2009 to 2018 as Malaysia’s sixth Prime Minister, pleaded not guilty to three new money-laundering charges related to the alleged multibillion-dollar looting of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (“1MDB”), a Kuala Lumpur-based strategic development company that is wholly owned by the Malaysian Ministry of Finance. The … Continue Reading

DPA Regime a Landmark Change to Singaporean Law

A recent landmark change to Singapore’s criminal justice system providing for Deferred Prosecution Agreements (“DPAs”), or voluntary alternatives to adjudication, should increase corporate accountability for acts of bribery, corruption, and money laundering.… Continue Reading
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