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, […]

US Treasury files civil claim against foreign Bitcoin exchange and its owner / officer to enforce penalties of $100M for AML failures

The US Attorney for the Northern District of California, on behalf of the US Treasury, has filed a civil complaint against the Bitcoin exchange known as BTC-e and one of its alleged owners / officers, Alexander Vinnik, to enforce over $100 million in monetary penalties for a series of anti-money laundering law violations. BTC-e was […]

FATF to finalize interpretation of virtual assets, digital currency exchanges and ICOs to require they be FIU-registered and supervised for AML compliance

In furtherance of the US approach to responsible innovation, the Financial Action Task Force (“FATF“)’s private sector consultation in Vienna two weeks ago, will help drive changes to FATF Recommendation 15 to bring digital currencies, ICOs, and digital currency exchanges more fully into the AML requirements in June 2019. The Vienna change will take effect […]

US DoJ unseals indictment against two people associated with payment processor of digital currency exchanges

The DOJ from the Southern District of New York, unsealed a grand jury superseding indictment against two people today for allegedly providing payment processing services to digital currency exchanges without being licensed and under circumstances where they allegedly lied to obtain bank accounts. They are charged with bank fraud. According to the indictment, Reginald Fowler, […]

Bitcoin programmer and seller indicted in US for money laundering

A Bitcoin seller was arrested in the US on Friday and charged with 31 offences including international money laundering, operating an illegal digital currency exchange, failing to have an anti-money laundering program in place and structuring transactions. 21-year-old Jacob Campos was a developer at Edge Wallet and a Bitcoin trader who sold Bitcoin in the […]

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 […]

Foreign digital currency exchange fined $110M in US for anti-money laundering law failures

For the first time ever, the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FINCEN“), has asserted jurisdiction over a foreign digital currency exchange, BTC-E, for the purposes of fines, and assessed civil penalties for anti-money laundering law failures under the Bank Secrecy Act in the amount of $110,003,314. In July of this year, BTC-E and its founder, […]

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 […]