US Govt Issues Sanctions Against Venezuela’s ICO – the Petro Coin

Executive Order  President Trump issued an Executive Order imposing economic sanction on the initial coin offering (“ICO“) by the Government of Venezuela, called the Petro Coin (the “Petro ICO“). The Executive Order makes it illegal to engage in transactions, dealings or financings in connection with the Petro ICO, which would include buying, selling, trading, marketing, [...]

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 [...]

The non-techie guide to the Blockchain, distributed ledger tech and Bitcoin

This guide to Bitcoin, Blockchain, distributed ledger tech, and digital currencies is taken from a collection of presentations, comments, speeches we’ve made at global conferences and articles written by us from 2012 to 2015. Bitcoin Consumer payments and ways of transferring value in Canada and globally have shifted over the last several decades from paper-based media, [...]

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 [...]

Pope lays out his plan to take down the Mafia and deal with corruption globally

  The Vatican’s justice branch has released its statement emanating from its recent anti-Mafia meeting with global law enforcement agencies to take-down the Mafia around the world through excommunication, if necessary. The Pope believes that he can make a difference in eradicating the Mafia and transactional criminal organizations through the reach of the Catholic Church. The [...]

Biggest illegal online dark net Bitcoin marketplace shut down; run by a Canadian who committed suicide rather than face US justice

The US DoJ has taken down what it calls the world’s largest criminal marketplace on the Internet called AlphaBay yesterday, which operated for over two years on the dark net. AlphaBay was over ten times larger than Silk Road when Silk Road was taken down in 2013. Like Silk Road, AlphaBay was used for trading of [...]

G7 to focus on transnational criminal organizations, aviation infrastructure security, terrorist financing

The G7 released a special statement on financial crime, promising to re-double its efforts from the last 12 months on ending financial crime, in particular terrorist financing and international money laundering involving transnational criminal organizations. Every year there is a commitment to these goals but this time, the G7 has promised to turn their statements “into [...]

2017 Worldwide threat assessment – the rule of law is at risk

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence released its annual Worldwide Threat Assessment on May 11, 2017, from the US Intelligence Community and compared to last year, there are many more international threats to world security. The Threat Assessment from the US is a summary of all of the threats facing the US, and [...]

Canada’s New Cannabis Act – Harsh New Offences; Money Laundering; Why Cannabis Stores Can’t Get Bank Accounts; Role of Organized Crime

Canada introduced a new Cannabis law, Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act, expected to come into force in July 2018. Skip to Part 2, below, if you just want to review the new law. Part 1 – Background on Current Law, Illegal Dispensing; Denial of Bank Accounts Illegality of Cannabis Sales Except for Medical Purposes Until [...]

Accountant explains the benefits of tax havens

If you ever wondered how it is that lawyers learn about tax havens, it is from texts such as the series called “Tax Havens of the World”, written by Walter Diamond, who was an accountant at Deloitte and KPMG, and a prolific teacher of the benefits of tax havens. “Tax Havens of the World” was [...]