FinCEN assesses US$60 million penalty against owner of Bitcoin mixer / tumbler service

US$60 million penalty On October 19, 2020, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN“) assessed a US$60 million penalty (here) against Larry Dean Harmon, the owner of two Bitcoin mixing and anonymizing services called Helix and Coin Ninja LLC. FinCEN found that the two entities were operating as unregistered money services businesses (“MSB“) which exchanged currencies, […]

SEC suspends trading temporarily of pubco, with ties to Canada, selling a virus killing mask for covid-19

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC“) temporarily halted the trading of shares of an issuer called Bioelife Corp. over concerns about the accuracy of its claims, and claims of stock promoters, that it has developed coronavirus protective products, and over potentially manipulative trading activity. Bioelife is a shell, according to its website. It used […]

SEC locates pump & dump alleged mastermind in Ibiza who used a Vancouver lawyer for the alleged scheme

Biozoom boy found in Ibiza The alleged mastermind behind the alleged pump and dump securities fraud case involving Biozoom, Francisco Abellan Villena, has been located in Ibiza, the playground for billionaires. Villena is currently incarcerated in Ibiza, perhaps on an extradition warrant from the US. He was located by an investigator in Spain hired at […]

P3 infrastructure criminal charges in Canada against a politically exposed person

The RCMP has charged a former head of a Crown corporation, Michel Fournier, and his wife, Judith Fournier, both resident in Victoria, with money laundering in connection with alleged corruption from kickbacks they allegedly received tied to a $127 million contract to renovate the Jacques Cartier Bridge. Fournier had a secret bank account in Switzerland […]

US amends anti-money laundering law for beneficial ownership after Panama Papers, including to detect purchases of expensive real estate with illicit money

Panama Papers Driven Changes The US Treasury has announced several amendments, and proposed legislative amendments, to its anti-money laundering (“AML“) legislation in the wake of the Panama Papers scandal to tackle the disclosure of what is called “beneficial ownership.” Beneficial ownership means the beneficial, as opposed to the legal, owner of shares of a private […]

Primer on Beneficial Ownership and Numbered, Shelf and Shell Companies

Beneficial ownership … Shell companies … Shelf companies … What’s the Difference?  Since the Panama Papers, there seems to be an increasing interest in the concepts of beneficial ownership, numbered companies, shell companies and shelf companies and people use the term interchangeably but they are not the same thing. 1. Shelf Companies  A shelf company […]

American Banker – Why banks should be concerned about hackers taking on counter terrorist financing

In case you missed it, our article in American Banker‘s Bank Think entitled “We Shouldn’t Be Relying on Hackers to Stop Terrorism Financing” can be read here. The article discusses the recent phenomena of hackers in #OpISIS taking down the websites of the Islamic State and their stated promise to go after banks engaged in […]

UK issues 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 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 for money laundering and terrorist financing compliance failures. On conviction, directors and officers […]

Executive of Canadian renewable company pleads guilty in US to money laundering over renewable energy fraud in first Canadian-related renewable energy fraud case

By Christine Duhaime, BA, JD, Certified Financial Crime & Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Specialist Canadian Company Executives Pleads Guilty to Renewable Energy Money Laundering Conspiracy & Fraud Nathan Stoliar, a prominent Australian executive, has pleaded guilty in the US to several criminal charges including money laundering conspiracy, for selling fraudulent renewable energy credits, similar in some […]

Billionaire banker executed in $2.6B money laundering case and two co-defendants in Canada

Billionaire money launderer executed According to the Washington Post, billionaire banker Mahafarid Amir Khosravi was executed today in Tehran for bank fraud and money laundering. He is alleged to have forged letters of credit with the assistance of bank managers from the Melli Bank to start a private bank called Aria Bank. Iranian courts found that US$2.6 […]