Do foreign digital currency exchanges taking US customers online have to be AML registered in the US?

Do foreign digital currency exchanges that take US customers online have to be AML registered in the US? Not unsurprisingly, the answer is yes. Under US law, digital currency ​exchangers​ qualify as money transmitters and are subject to the obligations under the Bank Secrecy Act. Key concepts to know are that: An exchanger is a person engaged [...]

Woman who bought Bitcoin with $300,000 in cash in grocery bags, going to jail for one year

A woman in California, who admitted operating an unlicensed in-person digital currency exchange where she traded cash for Bitcoin,  was sentenced today to 12 months in federal prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of US$20,000. Theresa Tetley pled guilty to conducting an illegal business and engaging in unlawful monetary transactions involving Bitcoin, and laundering [...]

Operation Dark Gold – arrest of 35 darknet vendors using digital currencies for illegal drug trafficking and commerce

The US Department of Justice, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Secret Service, and the DEA  announced the arrest and pending prosecution of more than 35 darknet vendors across the country after a year-long investigation dubbed Operation Dark Gold. US federal law enforcement seized more than $20 million in Bitcoin and other digital currencies, 100 illegal [...]

Granny did it –> millions allegedly seized from banks, PayPal and in Bitcoin & IOTA in European drug bust

According to a statement by Europol, police in Austria and Spain seized €4.5 million in Bitcoin and IOTA as part of a bust of a transnational criminal organization that manufactured and trafficked LSD and laundered the proceeds of crime. The story is a little weird. How the police seized the digital currencies is unknown but [...]

35 darknet drug traffickers arrested in the US; $20 million in Bitcoin seized

Over 35 people were arrested in a US-wide sweep by the US DOJ, DEA, US Secret Service, ICE, HSI and the FBI agents for selling illegal drugs over the darknet and laundering the proceeds of crime using, inter alia, Bitcoin. The operation involved agents posing as digital currency exchanges to obtain personal information of drug [...]

Canada doing a lot worse combatting money laundering and drug trafficking according to 2018 US INCSR report

Canada once again a “Major Money Laundering” country The 2018 “International Narcotics Control Strategy Report” (INCSR) published in March 2018 by the U.S. Department of State identifies Canada once again as a “major money laundering country” along with a host of risky countries for financial crime, and is generally doing a lot worse combatting money laundering [...]

First unexplained wealth orders take effect in the UK against a non-UK person

The National Crime Agency in the UK has been granted the first set of Unexplained Wealth Orders (“UWO”) under the Criminal Finances Act, by the UK High Court requiring that an unnamed foreign national from Asia provide a written statement explaining how they obtained sufficient wealth to purchase property. The foreign national subject to the first [...]

US to adopt national money laundering & terrorist financing strategy that includes risks from digital currencies

US President Trump signed new sanctions legislation into law on August 3, 2017, against Iran, Russia and North Korea, and at the same time, adopted a new national strategy to combat terrorist financing and money laundering. The legislation, “HR3364 – Countering America’s Adversaries Though Sanctions Act” is more than about sanctions. In large part, it’s [...]