Carlton Greene

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  The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is known for imposing hefty penalties for violations of US economic sanctions, with individual violations amounting to up to US $295,141 or twice the value of the transaction, whichever is greater, per prohibited transaction, and overall penalties sometimes running into the hundreds of millions, or even billions, of dollars. Despite this, OFAC historically has not provided much guidance for companies on the…
On December 3, 2018, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the National Credit Union Administration, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (together “the agencies”), issued a joint statement encouraging banks to test and implement innovative approaches to meeting their Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) obligations. The agencies hope to harness private sector innovation to better protect the financial…
On November 15, 2018, FinCEN issued revised Geographic Targeting Orders (GTOs), once more expanding its scrutiny of “all-cash” purchases (i.e., those without bank loans or other external financing) in the luxury residential real estate market. FinCEN broadened the geographic scope of the orders, lowered the purchase amount threshold for each covered area, and added purchases that involve virtual currencies to the mandatory reporting list. Along with the GTOs, FinCEN also released frequently asked questions…
On October 3, 2018, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (FRB), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) (collectively, “the Agencies”) issued a statement addressing instances in which banks can collaborate with each other and share resources to manage their Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and anti-money laundering (AML) obligations more efficiently…
On September 28, 2018, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, National Credit Union Administration, and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (collectively the Federal Banking Agencies or FBAs), with the concurrence of the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), issued an interagency order (the Order) exempting premium finance lenders from the requirements of the customer identification program (CIP) rules imposed by the Bank…
On September 7, 2018, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) granted exceptive relief to “covered financial institutions”—banks, broker-dealers, mutual funds, and introducing brokers in commodities—from the requirement to identify and verify the identity of the beneficial owner(s) of their legal entity customers when those customers open a new account as a result of the following: A rollover of a certificate of deposit (CD). A renewal, modification, or extension of a loan (e.g., setting a later…
The last week of March has brought new measures against Maduro’s regime from the U.S., Europe, and Latin-America. While Switzerland has aligned with European Union (EU) sanctions, Panama has included Venezuelan government officials and several companies in their Politically Exposed Persons’ (PEPs) list. The State of Florida has also enacted divestment laws targeting Venezuela. Florida Actions: On March 29, Governor Rick Scott of Florida signed into law HB 359, stating that the State Board…
In December 2017, the Government of Venezuela announced the adoption of a new digital currency called Petro—backed by Venezuelan oil resources—in what it described as an attempt to avoid the impact of U.S. Financial Sanctions. On January 19, OFAC published a new Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) offering its view that the proposed currency may be exposed to U.S. sanctions. As previously reported by Crowell, on August 24, 2017, President Trump issued Executive Order (E.O.) 13808,…
New U.S. sanctions were announced last week on Cuba, Russia, and Iran, though none of the new restrictions has an immediate effect. After weeks of internal deliberations, President Trump on June 16 partially fulfilled a campaign pledge by announcing a limited re-implementation of sanctions on Cuba. The new Cuba measures will only take effect after the relevant agencies implement new regulations, a revision process that will begin within the next 30 days, but may take…
On October 25, 2016, the Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued a new Advisory to Financial Institutions on Cyber-Events and Cyber-Enabled Crime as well as a related list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). The Advisory provides guidance to financial institutions on FinCEN’s expectations with regard to: (1) reporting cyber-enabled crime and cyber-events through Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs); (2) including relevant and available cyber-related information (e.g., Internet Protocol (IP) addresses with timestamps,…