Rebecca Worthington

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Law Enforcement in the Digital Assets Space: Department of Justice Issues Report Pursuant to White House Executive Order

On September 16, 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DoJ”) issued a report on The Role of Law Enforcement in Detecting, Investigating, and Prosecuting Criminal Activity Related to Digital Assets (the “Report”), which will have a significant and wide-ranging impact on the U.S. government’s ability to investigate, prosecute, and disrupt crimes involving digital assets.  The … Continue Reading

Wolfsberg Group Releases Guidance on Negative News Screening

The Wolfsberg Group, an association of thirteen global banks which develops frameworks and guidance for the management of financial crime risks, particularly with respect to KYC, AML, and CFT policies, recently released a set of frequently asked questions on negative news screening and other forms of adverse information searches. Negative news screening can assist financial … Continue Reading

The Fine Art of Money Laundering: The Treasury Department’s Study on Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing in the Art Trade

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (“NDAA”) became law early in 2021, after a congressional override of then-President Trump’s veto. Division F of the NDAA consists of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 (“AMLA”). The AMLA expands numerous Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”) requirements, and amends the BSA’s definition of “financial institution” to include persons … Continue Reading

Proposed FinCEN Pilot Program on Sharing of Suspicious Activity Reports with Foreign Affiliates

On January 25, 2022, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) issued its anticipated Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking public comment on a proposed pilot program that would permit certain financial institutions to share suspicious activity reports (“SARs”) and information related to SARs with the institutions’ foreign branches, subsidiaries, and affiliates (the “NPRM”). The proposed rule is … Continue Reading

Anti-Money Laundering Act Update: One Year In

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 became law early in 2021, after a congressional override of then-President Trump’s veto.  Division F of the NDAA consists of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 (“AMLA”).  The AMLA expands numerous Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”) requirements, and FinCEN has continued to issue guidance, reports, and proposed … Continue Reading

Anti-Money Laundering Act Update: Six Months In

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (“NDAA”) became law earlier this year, after a congressional override of then-President Trump’s veto.  Division F of the NDAA consists of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 (“AMLA”).  The AMLA expands numerous Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”) requirements, and FinCEN has been active in the first sixth … 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’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

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

2019 Year-end White Collar Updates

In 2019, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and other federal regulators continued to emphasize the importance of effective compliance programs, self-disclosure of violations of the law and cooperation with regulators during investigations. In a new client alert out this week, we shed light on some of the updated guidance from various government agencies released last year, landmark state and … 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

Rare Due Process Reprieve for Company Penalized by OFAC for Violating Ukraine Sanctions

Following a ruling issued last week by a federal judge in Texas, ExxonMobil Corporation (“ExxonMobil”) will not have to pay a previously issued penalty for contracting with Russia’s state-owned PJSC Rosneft Oil Company (“Rosneft”), since it was not provided fair notice by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) that … Continue Reading

Company May Characterize Employee as a Compliance Risk

In certain circumstances, a company’s statement that one of its employees poses a significant and unacceptable compliance risk is not defamatory. According to a recent federal appellate decision, such a statement (made by a company while complying with a deferred prosecution agreement relating to Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations) had no “provably false factual … Continue Reading

DOJ Intervenes in False Claims Case Involving Copay Subsidies

The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently intervened in a False Claims Act (FCA) lawsuit involving allegations of kickbacks for prescription drug copays. The DOJ says the lawsuit makes “clear that the Department will hold accountable drug companies that pay illegal kickbacks to facilitate increased drug prices.” The DOJ “will not allow drug companies to use … Continue Reading

New DOJ Guidance on Cooperation in False Claims Act Matters

This week, the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice released guidelines on cooperation credit in False Claims Act cases. The guidelines strongly emphasize voluntary disclosure, but also provide insight into other actions that could give rise to cooperation credit.… 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

DOJ Recovers More Than $2.8 Billion for False Claims

The federal government’s recoveries for false claims during FY2018 topped $2.8 billion. The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently released this and other statistics for its civil False Claims Act recoveries since 1986. Although the most numerous and lucrative recoveries occurred in the health care industry, the DOJ reported 35 new qui tam cases involving the Department … Continue Reading

Third Circuit Clarifies Public Disclosure Bar in False Claims Act

Third Circuit Clarifies Public Disclosure Bar in False Claims Act In United States v. Omnicare, Inc., the Third Circuit clarified the operation of the public disclosure bar in the False Claims Act (FCA). The court held that publicly available information “could not have reasonably or plausibly supported an inference” of fraud. This information included government … Continue Reading

Does C Plea Mean Corporate Plea?

Many conclude that a C plea means a Corporate Plea. Used infrequently, a C plea restricts discretion of a federal district judge to sentence a criminal defendant. By expressing his concerns about a proposed C plea for a company, one federal judge changed the result. In an article published by the American Health Lawyers Association, … Continue Reading

Amendments to U.S. Rules of Criminal Procedure

The U.S. Supreme Court has adopted three amendments to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure (“Rules”). They affect Rule 12.4 (Disclosure Statement), Rule 45 (Computing and Extending Time), and Rule 49 (Serving and Filing Papers). The changes do not reflect particularly large shifts in criminal procedure, but attorneys should be aware of them since, as … Continue Reading

South Africa FIC Publishes Financial Crime Typologies

South Africa’s regulator, the Financial Intelligence Centre (“FIC”), oversees receipt and analysis of financial intelligence as well as its dissemination.  FIC recently released a booklet that provides “insight on some of the methods criminals use to abuse the financial system.” The booklet provides nine different case studies, including one about rhinoceros poaching.… Continue Reading
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