Tagged: FinCEN

MoneyGram CCO Pays Civil Penalty

Like any other profession, the compliance profession is not immune to bad apples. Lawyers know the law but have been criminally prosecuted for breaking the law. The same goes for compliance professionals. If the compliance profession wants to build credibility, it has to adopt professional standards and it has to accept when a bad apple is appropriately punished. Instead of claiming that prosecuting CCOs will cause...

AML Enforcement and Compliance Trends

Law enforcement focus on anti-money laundering appears to be increasing. While the last ten years has seen a marked increase in AML regulatory obligations, the new administration is likely to return to some of the more “traditional” AML enforcement programs, such as terrorist financing, organized and transnational money laundering, tax evasion and other areas. The regulatory focus of enforcement will continue on beneficial ownership, shell...

FinCEN Expands Crackdown on Real Estate Buyers

Building on early successes, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) announced new rules targeting buyers of high-end real estate properties.  (Here). Earlier this year, FinCEN adopted rules focusing on high-end buyers of real estate in Miami and New York City. The new rules required title companies to report the beneficial owners of limited liability companies and shell companies which use cash to purchase high-end real...

Addressing AML Risks in the Era of Aggressive Enforcement

The resurgence in anti-money laundering enforcement in the last few years reflects the overall improvement in the banking industry and recovery from the financial collapse. Federal prosecutors and regulators have renewed their interest in AML compliance lapses, particularly in the area of sanctions/OFAC violations. FinCEN, the primary regulatory agency responsible for enforcement, has both diversified its targets and increased its enforcement efforts. For years, FinCEN...

FinCEN Issues New Beneficial Ownership Regulations

Under the dark cover of the Panama Papers scandal, FinCEN moved quickly to issue its beneficial; ownership regulations. For all of the US regulatory and financial industry bluster, it is about time. The United States stands far behind other countries in requiring transparency with regard to financial ownership. It is unfortunate that it took the Panama Papers scandal to give FinCEN the political opportunity to...

Revisiting FinCEN’s Proposed Regulations on Beneficial Ownership

You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. – Bob Dylan, Subterranean Homesick Blues Political winds are important for a number of reasons. When working in the government, you have to seize the political opportunities to advance practical proposals. When it comes to requiring banks and financial institutions to collect beneficial ownership information from account holders and customers, the Panama Papers...

FinCEN Proposes to Apply AML/BSA Requirements to Investment Advisers

FinCEN is an active law enforcement agency. They have taken on more responsibility over the last five years for AML enforcement, and they show no signs of letting up. FinCEN’s proposal to expand beneficial ownership requirements for financial institutions is expected to be released before the end of the year. FinCEN’s proposal in this area will have a significant impact on companies subject to AML...

Ten Key Elements of an AML Compliance Program

AML compliance reminds me of a classic Three Stooges scene from A Plumbing We Will Go (view episode here) – Curly, as one of the plumbers, continues to add pipes to a leaking bathtub, only to be surprised when the water continues to come out of the end of the pipe, and so on — you will get the picture. We all know about the...

Rolling the Dice: Casinos, FinCEN and AML Compliance

FinCEN has many important responsibilities but one of its more interesting assignments is oversight of anti-money laundering compliance by casinos (and card clubs). Casinos are under increasing scrutiny these days for lax AML compliance. In March 2015, FinCEN imposed a $10 million penalty on Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, New Jersey, for violations of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). In addition to this hefty...