Thoughts on FinCEN Director’s speech on bank de-risking and the refusal of banking services to MSBs (and by implication, Bitcoin)

De-risking that results in unbankable businesses  By Christine Duhaime, B.A., J.D., Financial Crime and Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist Follow @cduhaime In a speech delivered to the anti-money laundering legal and law enforcement community, the Director of FinCEN, Jennifer Shasky Calvery, made some interesting and compelling comments that touch on the economic costs of anti-money laundering (“AML“) law, [...]

Bitcoin in Amsterdam

We are participating in three exciting sessions on digital currencies (and Bitcoin) in Amsterdam this month for those interested in joining: At the Bitcoin Foundation Conference on May 16, 2014 on a panel discussing anti-money laundering chaired by Adam Shapiro, Director of Promontory Financial Group with: Dirk Haubrich, Head of Consumer Protection and Financial Innovation [...]

10th Annual National Money Laundering Symposium at Osgoode Hall Law School

The agenda is out for the upcoming 10th Annual National Symposium on Money Laundering in Toronto on April 4, 2014. The Symposium includes sessions on the following: Report from Gérald Cossette, Director of FINTRAC on Current Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Trends in Canada. Financial Institution Lessons Learned from US and Canada on Money Laundering [...]

Canada announces regulation of bitcoin, digital currencies and Internet gambling sites under anti-money laundering laws

Federal government to regulate bitcoin and other digital currencies As was widely anticipated, the federal government announced today that it will amend federal legislation to require the regulation of digital currencies like bitcoin in order to eliminate the potential risks of digital currencies being used for terrorist financing and money laundering. Interestingly, the proposed legislation [...]

Two arrested, including one Canadian, in the 1st state bitcoin prosecution in Florida over alleged money laundering

In another first for bitcoin, the Miami Beach Police today arrested two men for alleged money laundering involving bitcoin. And one of them is Canadian. According to police, undercover officers and special agents from the Miami Electronic Crimes Task Force posed as bitcoins buyers and contacted various bitcoin sellers on the website “localbitcoins.com” specifically requesting assistance to [...]

Marijuana brownies & the “smell of money laundering” – email evidence leads to arrest of bitcoin guru over money laundering charges

One of bitcoin’s earliest enthusiasts, Charlie Shrem who ran BitInstant, a New York based bitcoin exchange, was arrested today and charged with money laundering conspiracy, operating an unlicensed money transmitting business and failure to file suspicious activity reports to FinCEN. The Criminal Complaint was filed by U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, [...]

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 [...]

Escort agency indicted amid allegations of money laundering

Escort Agency indicted New York’s attorney general has indicted several corporations and 19 people in connection with an alleged prostitution and money laundering operation in New York and New Jersey that provided escort services and drugs.  Several of the people indicted included clients who used the services, escorts, chauffeurs, den keepers and the shareholders 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 [...]

Afghan money exchange businesses targeted by Treasury Department

The U.S. Department of the Treasury has designated two money services businesses in Afghanistan, the New Ansari Money Exchange (and its alleged founder Haji Abdullah Ansari) and the Ahmad Shah Money Exchange (and its alleged owner Ahmad Shah Hakimi), as major money laundering vehicles that facilitate the trafficking of drugs out of Afghanistan. The designation [...]