P3 infrastructure criminal charges in Canada against a politically exposed person

The RCMP has charged a former head of a Crown corporation, Michel Fournier, and his wife, Judith Fournier, both resident in Victoria, with money laundering in connection with alleged corruption from kickbacks they allegedly received tied to a $127 million contract to renovate the Jacques Cartier Bridge. Fournier had a secret bank account in Switzerland [...]

US amends anti-money laundering law for beneficial ownership after Panama Papers, including to detect purchases of expensive real estate with illicit money

Panama Papers Driven Changes The US Treasury has announced several amendments, and proposed legislative amendments, to its anti-money laundering (“AML“) legislation in the wake of the Panama Papers scandal to tackle the disclosure of what is called “beneficial ownership.” Beneficial ownership means the beneficial, as opposed to the legal, owner of shares of a private [...]

Primer on Beneficial Ownership and Numbered, Shelf and Shell Companies

Beneficial ownership … Shell companies … Shelf companies … What’s the Difference?  Since the Panama Papers, there seems to be an increasing interest in the concepts of beneficial ownership, numbered companies, shell companies and shelf companies and people use them interchangeably but they are not the same thing. 1. Shelf Companies  A shelf company literally [...]

American Banker – Why banks should be concerned about hackers taking on counter terrorist financing

In case you missed it, our article in American Banker‘s Bank Think entitled “We Shouldn’t Be Relying on Hackers to Stop Terrorism Financing” can be read here. The article discusses the recent phenomena of hackers in #OpISIS taking down the websites of the Islamic State and their stated promise to go after banks engaged in [...]

UK issues guidance for MSBs imposing personal liability on directors / officers for terrorist financing and money laundering compliance failures

Unlimited monetary fines at stake for compliance failures The UK HM Revenue and Customs (“HMRC“) has issued revised guidance (the “Guidance“) for money services businesses (“MSBs“) that renders directors, officers, partners, managers, secretaries and members of the management committee of a MSB personally liable for money laundering and terrorist financing compliance failures. On conviction, directors and officers [...]

Executive of Canadian renewable company pleads guilty in US to money laundering over renewable energy fraud in first Canadian-related renewable energy fraud case

By Christine Duhaime, BA, JD, Certified Financial Crime & Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Specialist Canadian Company Executives Pleads Guilty to Renewable Energy Money Laundering Conspiracy & Fraud Nathan Stoliar, a prominent Australian executive, has pleaded guilty in the US to several criminal charges including money laundering conspiracy, for selling fraudulent renewable energy credits, similar in some [...]

Billionaire banker executed in $2.6B money laundering case and two co-defendants in Canada

Billionaire money launderer executed According to the Washington Post, billionaire banker Mahafarid Amir Khosravi was executed today in Tehran for bank fraud and money laundering. He is alleged to have forged letters of credit with the assistance of bank managers from the Melli Bank to start a private bank called Aria Bank. Iranian courts found that US$2.6 [...]

PetroTiger executives charged with money laundering and bribery from Columbian transaction; general counsel pleads guilty

Two executives of PetroTiger, Ltd., a British Virgin Islands oil and gas company (“PetroTiger“), were charged with money laundering, wire fraud and bribery under the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (the “FCPA“) for allegedly bribing foreign public officials to obtain a $39 million contract from Ecopetrol S.A., a state-owned petroleum company in Columbia (“Ecopetrol“), Latin America’s second [...]

Soho China faces money laundering allegations

The shares of Beijing-based Soho China, a premier commercial development company, fell 11% this week after allegations surfaced in China that the company may be involved in money laundering associated with the sale of 41 Soho China properties to Shanxi banking official Gong Aiai for approximately HK$1 billion. Ms. Gong was arrested in China for [...]

HSBC accused of lax anti-money laundering compliance

HSBC investigation The U.S. Permanent Senate Subcommittee on Investigations has found that HSBC Holdings PLC allowed drug traffickers, terrorists and rogue states to launder billions of dollars in the U.S. as a result of poor anti-money laundering (“AML“) and counter terrorist financing (“CTF“) controls. The Subcommittee found that HSBC serviced high-risk clients in drug-trafficking countries with [...]