US rates Canada once again as a “major money laundering country” in annual drug report

1. Canada once again a “Major Money Laundering” country The 2017 “International Narcotics Control Strategy Report” (INCSR) published in March 2017 by the U.S. Department of State identifies Canada once again as a “major money laundering country” along with a host of mostly risky countries for financial crime such as Afghanistan, Argentina, Brazil, BVI, Cayman Islands, [...]

SEC denies approval for Bitcoin Trust over multiple market integrity issues

The Securities Exchange Commission has denied an application for the creation of a Bitcoin Trust based primarily on issues related to preservation of the integrity of the capital markets. The decision is what was expected from a financial crime and integrity perspective. The decision can be read here. The gist of the negative findings of [...]

Politically exposed Chinese foreign national pleads guilty to immigration fraud

Shilan Zhao (趙世蘭), the ex-wife of a Chinese official and a politically exposed person, has pleaded guilty to immigration fraud related to the EB5 investor visa program in the US and will serve a term of incarceration of five years. Zhao conspired with her husband, Jianjun Qiao (喬建軍), aka Feng Li, to immigrate to the [...]

Issues in Financial Crime, Technology, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

3rd Annual Vancouver FinTech Conference The 3rd Annual Financial Technology Conference in Vancouver takes place on May 3, 2017, which we co-sponsor. This year’s Conference focuses on “FinTech and Financial Crime” and will cover the nexus between technology solutions to address regulation (RegTech), law, money laundering, terrorist financing, compliance, fraud, identity management, transnational criminal organizations, [...]

RCMP charge man in Alberta for money laundering for acting as a finder

The RCMP has arrested Neil Andrew McDonald in Alberta for money laundering and fraud in connection with finding $240,000 from 7 investors in 2015 in Alberta, in violation of securities law. It is unusual for Canadian prosecutors outside of Quebec to attach a money laundering offence to a serious predicate offence, especially for securities fraud and this [...]

Q & A on Extreme Vetting

The Executive Orders issued by the US Government for immigration and subsequent statements by the administration indicate that the Department of Homeland Security is starting a process of “extreme vetting” of prospective immigrants, refugee claimants and non-immigrant visa applicants. From a terrorism perspective, here is a Q&A about “extreme vetting.” What is “extreme vetting”? Extreme [...]

US President signs Financial Crime Executive Order to, among other things, bring foreigners to “Face Justice in the US”

Come Face US Justice On Thursday, the US President signed an executive order to protect the US from transnational criminal organizations and, inter alia, to tackle financial crimes. The executive order is entitled “Enforcing Federal Law with Respect to Transnational Criminal Organizations and Preventing International Trafficking.” Its purpose is to dismantle international organized crime. Thwarting [...]

World Check being sued over database of personal information

A number of persons and organizations are allegedly preparing to sue Thomson Reuters, the organization that runs World Check for wrongly listing them in a database as a financial crime risk. World Check created (apparently without informed consent at least under Canadian law), an online global database that purports to provide anti-money laundering, sanctions and [...]

The smuggling of rhinoceros horns to China

The prosecution of wildlife smuggling is rare and especially if it involves a Canadian. But last year, Xiao Ju Gian, was sentenced in New York for 30 months incarceration for smuggling rhinoceros horns, elephant ivory and coral from the US into Vancouver, from which he abused the Canadian financial system. Xiao Guan lived in Richmond, [...]

Nigeria gets ex parte asset recovery order for $153,000,000 in proceeds of corruption from PEP parked in banks

The government of Nigeria will be able to recover $153 million in proceeds of corruption from Diezani Allison-Madueke, its former Minister of Petroleum, who was and remains a politically exposed person under anti-money laundering law. The funds were alleged to have been stolen from the Nigerian National Oil Company when it was under her control as [...]