Malta businessman allegedly laundered €500 billion for ‘Ndrangheta and other Mafia; was preparing to launder €136 billion more

According to prosecutors in Italy, a businessman in Malta and alleged IT specialist, Roberto Recordare, is under investigation for allegedly having laundered €500 billion in proceeds of crime for the ‘Ndrangheta, Cosa Nostra and Camorra Mafia groups and for planning to launder €136 billion more. Approximately €36 billion of the amount laundered was allegedly in […]

Offshore advisory firm that once advised Crocodile Dundee star pleads guilty to helping wealthy clients hide money in tax havens

Strachans SA Last month, Strachans SA, pleaded guilty in the US to hiding income and assets in offshore bank accounts, and in various corporate entities from tax authorities for its clients. Strachans SA was an accounting and financial services firm based in Jersey and Switzerland. In 2013, it became news-worthy when it and/or one of […]

FinCEN assesses US$60 million penalty against owner of Bitcoin mixer / tumbler service

US$60 million penalty On October 19, 2020, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN“) assessed a US$60 million penalty (here) against Larry Dean Harmon, the owner of two Bitcoin mixing and anonymizing services called Helix and Coin Ninja LLC. FinCEN found that the two entities were operating as unregistered money services businesses (“MSB“) which exchanged currencies, […]

Bitcoin exchange owners charged by CFTC and US DoJ with various federal violations

CFTC civil enforcement action The Commodities Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC“) today filed a civil enforcement action in the SDNY against the owners – operators of a digital currency exchange called BitMEX, for alleged violations of the Commodity Exchange Act. BitMEX processed trillions of dollars in transactions, received over US$11 billion in Bitcoin and made more […]

Growing risks for AML compliance officers – client threats, intimidation and expanding personal liability

Threats and intimidation The story of how two reporters in London investigating the FinTech Wirecard were pursued by a government regulator in Germany, which commenced a bogus criminal investigation against them, and how those reporters were followed and intimidated by Wirecard and its lawyers, is reminiscent of what can happen to anti-money laundering (“AML“) compliance […]

Mexico’s FIU freezes bank accounts used to launder money of 1,937 suspected CJNG cartel members and their lawyers, while 5 cartels continue turf wars to export fentanyl to US and Canada

Mexico’s financial intelligence unit, working with the DEA, yesterday announced that it had frozen the bank accounts of 1,770 men and women and 167 companies believed to be tied to, or working for, the Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación (“CJNG“), believed to have been used to launder approximately US$1.1 billion in proceeds of crime from the […]

SEC suspends trading temporarily of pubco, with ties to Canada, selling a virus killing mask for covid-19

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC“) temporarily halted the trading of shares of an issuer called Bioelife Corp. over concerns about the accuracy of its claims, and claims of stock promoters, that it has developed coronavirus protective products, and over potentially manipulative trading activity. Bioelife is a shell, according to its website. It used […]

Narcos Canada: Canadian banks & professions deal with significant proceeds of crime from narco trafficking and serious crimes; Canada listed again as “major money laundering country”; plus 10 money laundering areas of concern identified by the US for Canada

Canada still on the Majors List Canada made it on the “Majors List” in the annual US State Department’s International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (“INCSR“) again this year. The Majors List is three lists and it designates countries that are (1) “Major Illicit Drug Producing and Drug Transit Countries”; (2) “Major Precursor Chemical Source Countries”; […]

US releases national strategy for anti-money laundering threats to US financial system

The US Department of the Treasury has released a “2020 National Strategy for Combating Terrorist and Other Illicit Financing“, which provides a roadmap to identify current money laundering and terrorist financing threats and provides strategies to mitigate the identified threats and risks. In the Strategy, some of the key money laundering risks are identified as […]

US considering two anti-money laundering bills to force disclosure of shareholders of private companies

In what will be the most significant change to anti-money laundering law in the US since the Bank Secrecy Act, the US is considering two separate bills that, if passed, would require disclosure of the shareholders of private companies – the ILLICIT CASH Act and the Corporate Transparency Act, H.R. 2513. ILLICIT Cash Act The […]