Tagged: FinCEN

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Bittrex’s Sanctions and AML Violations: The Importance of Compliance Controls for the Cryptocurrency Industry (Part II of II)

Matt Stankiewicz, Partner at The Volkov Law Group, continues his discussion of recent enforcement actions by OFAC and FinCEN.  He can be reached at mstankiewi[email protected] In parallel with the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”), the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) settled with Bittrex, Inc. (“Bittrex”), a cryptocurrency exchange that allows users to trader virtual assets, for willful violations of the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”)’s...

Episode 76 — Review of 2018 AML Enforcement and Compliance Trends

Global prosecutors and regulators continued to increase anti-money laundering enforcement and regulatory actions.  Global and US regulators have increasingly focused on beneficial ownership and transparency requirements.  In 2018, FinCEN’s Customer Due Diligence rule went into effect.   US prosecutors also brought several significant AML criminal prosecutions against large banks; the SEC has increased AML enforcement as part of reviews of internal controls.  Regulators brought enforcement actions...

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...