Tagged: Money Laundering

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...

Panama Papers: Looking Below the Headlines

The media loves a scandal. In the banking and compliance world, the latest scandal to hit the media was the Panama Papers. The Panama Papers is surprising in scope – Panama has become the favorite financial haven for money launderers, PEPs and other miscreants. We have all seen this in the business world as Panamanian banks grew in rapid fashion. As the Cayman Islands, Switzerland...

Prosecuting CCOs v. Holding CCOs Accountable

There has been a lot written about CCOs fearing prosecution for compliance failures. Not to say there is no risk, but the truth lies really in the middle.  From my perspective, there is too much fear-mongering around this issue. Let’s look at one extreme – a CCO who engages in misconduct should be prosecuted. A good example of this case is the prosecution of Thomas...

Preventing Terrorism with AML Accountability AND Budgeting

Lauren Connell, Managing Associate at The Volkov Law Group, joins us again for a posting about anti-money laundering (AML), terrorism financing and CCO certifications.  Lauren’s profile is here, and she can be reached at [email protected] Preventing money from getting to terrorists is a chief goal of AML programs. But at a basic level an AML program is only as strong as its budget, regardless of...

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...

The 5 Most Common AML Compliance Program Deficiencies

Anti-money laundering compliance is a very difficult task. The number of risks is exponential. AML compliance officers have an innovative and rich history of compliance techniques and strategies. In the end, AML compliance depends on: accurate and comprehensive risk assessments; pre-screening of customers through appropriate KYC programs; and audit and monitoring of transaction and customer activity. Despite the commitment and dedication of AML compliance professionals,...

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...

Scrutinizing Third-Party Payments

It is often hard to convince people that receiving money can be a problem. Everyone likes to receive money, especially when they are being paid for something they did. In the area of compliance priorities, companies do not normally treat third-party payments as a high-risk activity. However, with increasing focus on illicit proceeds and tightening of AML/Terrorist Financing requirements, companies have to focus on this issue....

Know Your Customer (“KYC”) Due Diligence Best Practices

Financial institutions have a lengthy list of Anti-Money Laundering compliance requirements. They face a mountain of risks from a large number of financial transactions, each of which can carry significant risks. AML compliance programs are built on a systematic review of a large number of financial transactions. The focus of this review has to be on triggers that identify suspicious transactions or customers. Know Your...

AML Risk Assessments

I am a strong proponent of conducting a risks assessment as part of an overall ethics and compliance program. However, I often caution companies to balance benefits and costs, and not to conduct a glitzy, high-priced risk assessment. Instead, I encourage companies to conduct a cost-effective risk and compliance program assessment that focuses on risk, mitigation of such risks and measurement of residual risks. Too...