Another Canadian in Bitcoin ecosystem, who was the 3rd largest fentanyl dealer, targeted by US in Operation Darkness Falls

Operation Darkness Falls nets Canadian fentanyl dealer The US DoJ, Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, the US Postal Service and DEA announced several arrests in Operation Darkness Falls, an international operation that sought to ferret out the identities of people selling illegal drugs, especially fentanyl, on the darknet that accepted Bitcoin and other digital currencies [...]

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 [...]

US indicts 12 Russian nationals for money laundering and hacking

The US has indicted 12 Russian foreign nationals for hacking, conspiracy and money laundering for allegedly interfering with the 2016 US presidential election. According to the indictment, Russia operated an intelligence agency called GRU which obtained confidential documents from the Clinton campaign systems by hacking and systematically released them to sway public opinion. According to [...]

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 [...]

Money laundering charge a sufficient ground for refusing refugee protection in Canada

In a not-often cited decision from 2011, the Federal Court of Canada upheld a decision of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada denying a foreign national refugee protection in Canada for serious criminality based on money laundering charges even though the foreign national was never convicted of money laundering. The facts of the case [...]

US expands review of money laundering in real estate market

More scrutiny in US for real estate The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced that it is expanding its program to identify persons who may be hiding assets in residential properties in the US. The expansion adds additional cities to what are called the area for Geographic Targeting Orders (GTO). Title insurance agents in GTO cities [...]

UN Chief charged in money laundering bribery scheme for allegedly accepting millions in cash from Chinese casino billionaire

Former UN President Charged The former United Nations (“UN”) President of the UN General Assembly, John Ashe, the UN Deputy Ambassador, Francis Lorenzo, a Chinese foreign national billionaire, Ng Lap Seng (also known as David Ng) and two of his associates were charged in New York with various offenses over an alleged bribery scheme. Two defendants [...]

US veterans file billion dollar claims against global banks over terrorist financing and sanctions avoidance and claim that the conduct continues today

Anti-Terrorism Act filing against global banks Yesterday, symbolically the day before Remembrance Day, several plaintiffs filed suit against a number of global foreign banks based in the United States under the Anti-Terrorism Act (the “ATA“), including HSBC Holdings Plc, Barclays, Standard Chartered Bank and the Royal Bank of Scotland. The plaintiffs are seeking damages that could run [...]

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 [...]

New beneficial ownership rules in the US to require disclosure of shareholders of private entities in a move towards G20/G8 financial transparency

New Beneficial Ownership Rules By Christine Duhaime, B.A., J.D., Financial Crime and Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist Follow @cduhaime FinCEN has released draft rules under the Bank Secrecy Act to identify the legal and beneficial shareholders (the natural persons) of private corporate entities (also known as legal persons). In other words – the disclosure of natural persons involved in [...]