Issues in Financial Crime, Technology, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

3rd Annual Vancouver FinTech Conference The 3rd Annual Financial Technology Conference in Vancouver takes place on May 3, 2017, which we co-sponsor. This year’s Conference focuses on “FinTech and Financial Crime” and will cover the nexus between technology solutions to address regulation (RegTech), law, money laundering, terrorist financing, compliance, fraud, identity management, transnational criminal organizations, [...]

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 [...]

Trial of PEP from Equatorial Guinea for money laundering in France; are Canada’s PEPs from Gabon next?

Equatorial Guinea trial Teodorin Obiang, the son of the President of Equatorial Guinea, is being prosecuted in France for allegedly laundering the proceeds of corruption in France. Mr. Obiang is also the Vice-President of Equatorial Guinea and is a politically exposed person. His trial is scheduled for June 2017. He is accused of bringing $105 [...]

Does privilege really prevent lawyers from reporting money laundering?

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 indicts foreign national for laundering money from Iran through Canada, US, Korea and parking it in expensive real estate

The US federal government has filed an indictment against a foreign national, Kenneth Zong, who resided in the US for allegedly laundering over $1 billion from Iran through Canada, the US and a number of other countries in violation of international sanctions law that prohibit providing financial services to Iranian foreign nationals in Iran and [...]

Ontario judge rules on admissibility of evidence in online criminal gambling prosecution

An Ontario court has ruled that evidence seized from the car of a person alleged to be connected to the Hell’s Angels can be admitted at trial even when that evidence was taken ostensibly under one piece of legislation, but was intended to be admitted for an investigation under other legislation. In November 2012, Andrew Bielli [...]

Beneficial ownership and money laundering issues in real estate

The 4th Annual ACAMS Conference in Toronto on October 25-26, 2016 will cover a session on the hot topic of real estate and money laundering, including the role of beneficial ownership with an explanation from a legal perspective on what beneficial ownership is and how transactions are structured to avoid the reporting requirement under the Proceeds [...]

Canada a major money laundering country with concern from China and Pakistan noted, according to US Annual Narcotics Control Strategy Report

1. Canada a Major Money Laundering Country The 2016 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (“INCSR“) published in March 2016 by the U.S. Department of State identifies Canada as a “major money laundering country” along with, among others, Afghanistan, Brazil, BVI, Cayman Islands, Cambodia, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, Guernsey, Jersey, Hong Kong, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mexico, Macau and [...]

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 [...]

Canada’s anti-money laundering evaluation shows Canada is doing worse, not better, in combatting money laundering and terrorist financing

Canada get 25% compliance grade from FATF FATF notes the concern of proceeds of crime coming into real estate in Vancouver from China The FATF Mutual Evaluation of Canada was released today and according to the Report, Canada achieved a grade of 25% compliance with international anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing standards. Out of 40 [...]