Four indicted in US cannabis tech pump & dump scheme that allegedly scammed investors and used Canadian promoters

Four people connected with a company called BioCube Inc., with connections to Canada were indicted on Friday for securities fraud and two for money laundering. They are alleged to have defrauded the public securities market by making untrue statements, omitting to make material statements and intentionally deceiving investors  - in essence, for engaging in a [...]

RCMP charge man in Alberta for money laundering for acting as a finder

The RCMP has arrested Neil Andrew McDonald in Alberta for money laundering and fraud in connection with finding $240,000 from 7 investors in 2015 in Alberta, in violation of securities law. It is unusual for Canadian prosecutors outside of Quebec to attach a money laundering offence to a serious predicate offence, especially for securities fraud and this [...]

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 [...]

1st Canadian official regulatory response to Bitcoin – securities commission issues alert against use of bitcoin highlighting Ponzi and money laundering risks

Securities regulator issues warning over bitcoin ATMs & threatens prosecution Canada issued it’s first official regulatory response to bitcoin today and it came from the Autorité des marchés financiers which issued an alert to consumers about the use of bitcoin. The Autorité, which is Québec’s securities commission, said in a statement that it will prosecute [...]

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 [...]

Liberty Reserve co-founder pleads guilty to money laundering

Money laundering conviction One of the co-founders of Liberty Reserve, Vladimir Kats, pleaded guilty to money laundering and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business yesterday. Liberty Reserve was one of the world’s most popular virtual currency services. It’s co-founders were indicted in the U.S. in May 2013, for allegedly laundering $6 billion in proceeds of crime [...]

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 [...]

SEC charges Texas man with securities fraud for allegedly running Ponzi scheme involving bitcoin investments

Alleged Ponzi scheme involving bitcoin The U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission announced today that it has charged Texas resident, Trendon Shavers, and an entity he ran called Bitcoin Savings and Trust (“BTCST“), with defrauding investors through the operation of a Ponzi scheme involving bitcoin. Bitcoin is a popular virtual currency. The charges have nothing to [...]

Tax evasion, beneficial ownership and money laundering – what are the issues facing Canada at the G8 Summit next week?

A recent article in the Vancouver Sun on the attendance by Stephen Harper at the G8 summit in Ireland and the proposed measures to combat tax evasion contained an interesting statement buried at the end of the article as follows: “international organizations say… Canada has balked at a measure that would identify the true owners of [...]

Record prison sentence imposed on lawyer for insider trading and money laundering

New York lawyer  Matthew Kluger was sentenced yesterday in federal court in New Jersey to 12 years in prison for insider trading. His sentence is the longest term ever imposed for that crime in the U.S. Kruger stole undisclosed transactional information on approximately 30 deals when he was a corporate lawyer with several U.S. law [...]