A gruesome murder for $70

It was 1998. Wesley Ira Purkey was an ex-con recently out on parole and living in Lansing, Kansas. He had a lengthy criminal record for numerous violent crimes and had spent years in prison getting an education, and trying to improve his attitude for release. Over the years, prison psychologists who evaluated Purkey labeled him […]

SEC files injunction against digital currency executives who allegedly obtained investments on the basis of false representations

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC“) filed a complaint in Texas on March 16, 2020, against Robert Dunlap, Nicole Bowdler, the girlfriend of Dunlap, and a former Washington State Senator, David Schmidt, in connection with a digital currency they launched called Meta 1 coin (the “MetaCoin“) which raised US$4 million from the public. […]

US releases national strategy for anti-money laundering threats to US financial system

The US Department of the Treasury has released a “2020 National Strategy for Combating Terrorist and Other Illicit Financing“, which provides a roadmap to identify current money laundering and terrorist financing threats and provides strategies to mitigate the identified threats and risks. In the Strategy, some of the key money laundering risks are identified as […]

Dominican Republic alleged drug kingpin César the Abuser listed by OFAC and evades capture

On August 20, the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC“) designated César Emilio Peralta, a national from the Dominican Republic and the criminal organization he is said to control, as significant narcotics traffickers and a drug kingpin under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act. Alleged money launderer and trafficker Peralta is known as “César […]

NCIS discovers jail pay FinTech app used by prisoners to launder money

Agents from NCIS have charged several prisoners, who used social media and online dating sites, with extortion and money laundering for blackmailing members of the military for money. The scheme cost 442 service members from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps from across the United States more than $560,000 in financial losses. The prisoners […]

ICOs & tokens increasingly attracting FBI criminal attention

According to this interview with FBI’s Financial Crimes Section Chief on CNBC, the FBI is seeing an increase in the number of complaints and cases opened involving digital currencies and crime. In particular, the FBI said that it is mostly ICOs and associated investment fraud schemes involving Bitcoin that are on the raise for investigations […]

Another Canadian in Bitcoin, who was the 3rd largest fentanyl dealer, indicted 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 […]