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 [...]

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 [...]

How the US Alien Tort Statute might expose Canadian financial institutions

The US Supreme Court this term is ruling on a case that may impact Canadian banks and other financial institutions. The case, Jesner v. Arab Bank, involves over 6,000 petitioners from Israel who were victims of terrorism in the Middle East who filed a tort claim against a corporation in New York, the Arab Bank, [...]

Four indicted in US cannabis tech pump & dump scheme that allegedly scammed investors and used Canadian promoters

Four people connected with a company called BioCube Inc., with connections to Canada were indicted on Friday for securities fraud and two for money laundering. They are alleged to have defrauded the public securities market by making untrue statements, omitting to make material statements and intentionally deceiving investors  - in essence, for engaging in a [...]

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 [...]

US extends GTOs for tracking money laundering in real estate

The US Treasury has announced that it is extending its Geographical Targeting Orders to identify purchasers of luxury real estate properties in six areas in the US. The GTOs require title insurance companies to identify the natural persons behind shell companies used to pay all cash for high-end residential real estate. A Special Agent with the [...]

The law on privilege in the context of money laundering and financial crime

In Canada and the US, lawyers are not subject to anti-money laundering reporting obligations like they are in most other countries. One of the most frequent reasons given for this by lawyers is that to require us to report certain financial transactions to a financial intelligence unit is inconsistent with, and would undermine, legal privilege. [...]

US lists Vancouver company a “significant transnational criminal organization”

Vancouver company listed as a criminal organization  Allegations of global money laundering from Vancouver through the financial system Today, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC“), designated Vancouver based PacNet and its connected companies, as a significant transnational criminal organization (“TCO“) for its role acting as an alleged money laundering [...]

Internet operator of illegal online sports gambling operation in Toronto pleads guilty

A Toronto man accused of running the Internet services for Platinum Sport Book, an illegal sports betting ring that the RCMP believe may be linked to the Mafia and the Hells Angels, pleaded guilty to being a bookie in a criminal organization. Platinum Sports Book was a sophisticated online gambling website located partially offshore that [...]