FinCEN issues money laundering advisory for Iran’s use of Bitcoin and digital currencies

FinCEN has issued an advisory for Iran that specifically is targeted for digital currency exchanges, banks and foreign banks so that the latter can understand their obligations under the correspondent banking system. The advisory is interesting because it is one of first instances of an attempt to provide guidance to foreign banks in respect of the [...]

Woman who bought Bitcoin with $300,000 in cash in grocery bags, going to jail for one year

A woman in California, who admitted operating an unlicensed in-person digital currency exchange where she traded cash for Bitcoin,  was sentenced today to 12 months in federal prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of US$20,000. Theresa Tetley pled guilty to conducting an illegal business and engaging in unlawful monetary transactions involving Bitcoin, and laundering [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

The Jihad Express –> Gaziantep Turkey still ISIS’ conduit city of choice

Jihad Express Gaziantep, Turkey appears to have emerged as a city of choice for terrorist financing and human trafficking for the Islamic State (“ISIS“) in the past twelve months. Gaziantep is a city close to the Syrian border and is considered one of the key “porous” border towns, where people and goods illegally sold or [...]

ISIS confirmed it is sending defectors back home to the West with instructions to commit terrorist acts

ISIS  sending defectors back home According to the popular website “Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently” written by people who oppose the Islamic State (“ISIS“) living in ar Raqqa, Syria, a town occupied by ISIS, ISIS is starting a campaign to send defectors back home to places like Canada, the UK, France and the US to [...]

Six Indicted in US for Funding ISIS Using Money Services Businesses that Routed Funds to Conduit Countries

Terrorist Financing for ISIS using online Payment Processors and MSBs from US Routed to Turkey and Saudi Arabia The USDOJ indicted six people this week for terrorist financing who are alleged to have used money services businesses to finance the Islamic State (“ISIS“) and to supply war-related goods to members of ISIS. According to the [...]

Credit union fined over anti-money laundering controls of its money services business clients

The question every credit union has been asking for the past five years – namely, do we have anti-money laundering law obligations over the financial transactions of business clients that are money services businesses (“MSB“) – was just answered by FinCEN with a $300,000 fine. Last week, FinCEN assessed the fine against the North Dade [...]

Australia faces ISIS terrorist threat; closes MSB over suspect terrorist financing

AUSTRAC unregisters MSB Australia’s financial intelligence unit, AUSTRAC, has suspended the registration and activities of a money services business (MSB) in Australia over questions arising from potential terrorist financing. It is the first time AUSTRAC has suspended a reporting entity. The MSB, operating under the trade name Bisotel Rieh Pty Ltd., failed to report all [...]

UK issues binding guidance for MSBs imposing personal liability on directors / officers for terrorist financing and money laundering compliance failures

Unlimited monetary fines at stake for compliance failures By Christine Duhaime, B.A., J.D., Financial Crime and Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist Follow @cduhaime The UK HM Revenue and Customs (“HMRC“) has issued revised guidance (the “Guidance“) for money services businesses (“MSBs“) that renders directors, officers, partners, managers, secretaries and members of the management committee of a MSB personally liable [...]