FINRA ramps up anti-money laundering compliance actions at securities firms

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA“) announced today that it filed a  Complaint against Wedbush Securities Inc. for alleged egregious and systemic anti-money laundering compliance infractions. According to the Wall Street Journal’s Risk & Compliance Journal, FINRA has made enforcement of securities anti-money laundering a priority. According to securities firms in Toronto, so have Canadian [...]

Swiss CEO pleads guilty over tax evasion of US citizens

by Christine Duhaime, BA, JD, Certified Financial Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Law Specialist Follow @cduhaime Today, the CEO of a Swiss trust company, Josef Dorig, pleaded guilty to defrauding the IRS for his role in helping US clients set up sham foundations and trusts and keep money in Switzerland for the purpose of tax evasion. [...]

Canadian asset manager and Canadian tax lawyer whose firm gave anti-money laundering advice indicted in US for money laundering

International tax lawyer and former fund manager from Québec indicted in US after IRS sting The arrest of two Canadians from Québec, Eric St-Cyr, an investment fund manager, and Patrick Poulin, a lawyer, in the US over money laundering charges hit the news today when their cases were transferred to Florida for prosecution. Mr. St-Cyr [...]

SEC crowdfunding rules include anti-money laundering and financial crime requirements while Canadian regulators lag behind on issuing rules

After more than a year, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has released draft crowdfunding equity rules (the “Rules“) for comment under the U.S. Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (the “JOBS Act“). The JOBS Act was brought into force in 2012 in an effort to facilitate the injection of capital in growing companies and start-ups. With respect to crowdfunding, its objective was [...]

The $10 million AML compliance plan that cost a hedge fund $1.8 billion

Largest insider trading settlement ever SAC Capital Advisors has reached a global settlement (the “Settlement“) with the U.S. Department of Justice to plead guilty to insider trading, pay a record US$1.8 billion penalty, and agree to a term of probation of five years. The Settlement is the largest financial penalty in history for insider trading. [...]

Vietnam implements anti-money laundering decree

Response to FATF blacklisting Following years of pressure, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam has implemented anti-money laundering legislation which took effect on Friday. The move was in response to the blacklisting of Vietnam  in June by the Financial Action Task Force (“FATF“) for  lax anti-money laundering (“AML“) and counter terrorist financing (“CTF“) controls. 14 countries [...]

Canada imposes additional sanctions on Iran essentially prohibiting all transactions

New Sanctions Against Iran The government of Canada today announced the imposition of new sanctions against Iran as a result of the lack of progress with the reduction of Iran’s nuclear program. Effective today, Canada banned all exports from and imports to Iran, and added more entities and individuals to the list of designated persons [...]

Canada still a “major money laundering country” in 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report on AML

The 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (“INCSR“) published this month by the U.S. Department of State, particularly volume I on the drug trafficking trade, is more favourable of Canada than the last two years, primarily as a result of the enactment in Canada of the Omnibus Crime Bill C-10, know as the Safe Streets and [...]

FATF Releases New Recommendations and Standards for Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing

Today, the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) released its long anticipated revised set of standards for anti-money laundering (AML) and counter terrorist financing (CTF) which replace the 40 Recommendations + 9 Special Recommendations compiled in 2003. The revised FATF Recommendations integrate AML and CTF controls into one document and are quite expansive in that they [...]

Canada proposes further anti-money laundering amendments

The Canadian government announced that it is undertaking a potentially significant revision to its anti-money laundering (AML) and counter terrorist financing (CTF) regime. The proposed changes are in addition to those proposed by the government in November 2011. In its Consultation Paper entitled “Strengthening Canada’s Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing Regime”, the government is proposing [...]