On November 28, 2022, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced a $362,158.70 settlement agreement with Payward, Inc. (Kraken), an online virtual currency exchange, in connection with 826 apparent violations of the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations. This enforcement action highlights the OFAC compliance risks for virtual currency platforms and comes on the heels of the Bittrex settlement which we discussed here. Again, it is critical to assess your risks and take steps to make sure you’re addressing them with smart compliance and screening measures.
Money laundering is no game. Yet, some games have been used for money laundering. That’s what prompted Valve to announce that it would end the…
Continue Reading Laundering the Loot: Videogame Developer Valve Ends In-game Key Sales Because of Financial Criminal Activity
Late last week, Congressional intelligence committees reportedly received some information from the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) related to investigations into Russia’s attack on the 2016 U.S. Presidential election and the allegation of collusion with members of the Trump campaign. This followed earlier reports of the Senate Intelligence Committee requesting data from FinCEN, including “information about shell companies, money laundering and the use of property transfers.” Also in the past week, Robert Mueller, Special Counsel, was appointed by the U.S. Department of Justice to conduct an independent investigation regarding Russia’s cyberattack. Taken together, that makes three sets of investigators who may be reviewing and analyzing documents from FinCEN in order to better understand financial connections among the President’s campaign, his business organizations, and Russia.
Continue Reading Still Following the Money: FinCEN, Money Laundering, and the Bank Secrecy Act
The U.S. Treasury Department has signaled the latest focus of its enforcement: real estate ventures with ties to money laundering schemes. Individual real estate investors and companies involved in luxury real estate, real estate development or investment, property management, and escrow or mortgage services around the globe should heed Treasury’s warnings.
Continue Reading Are You Within Reach of Anti-Money Laundering Enforcement? The Tentacles of Money Laundering Schemes Affect Real Estate Investors Worldwide
On June 5, new EU’s anti-money laundering (AML) rules, namely the Fourth EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive (“4AMLD”) and a new Regulation on the information accompanying transfer of funds were published in the Official Journal of the European Union. Together, this legislation represents the revised EU framework on anti-money laundering and terrorist financing. Member States have until June 26, 2017 to transpose the requirements of the 4AMLD into national law. …
Continue Reading New EU Rules on Disclosure of Ultimate Beneficial Owners
On March 12, 2015, Commerzbank AG, Germany’s second largest bank and a global financial institution, agreed to pay $1.45 Billion (yes, with a “B”) in forfeitures and fines to the U.S. Government for violating U.S. sanctions against Iran and Sudan. The amount paid by Commerzbank under the settlement will not be shocking to those who read our reporting on the BNP Paribas penalty of $8.9 Billion (again, that is a “B”) for similar sanctions violations.
Continue Reading The Broader Problem: European Bank Creates an Easy Catch for the Long Arm of U.S. Jurisdiction