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On May 9, 2019, the US Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) published long-awaited guidance addressing how FinCEN regulations apply to what the agency calls “convertible virtual currency” (CVC), which covers most types of cryptocurrencies and crypto-tokens. The guidance focuses on: Platforms engaged in exchange transactions involving securities, commodities, or futures contracts and fiat currency, CVC, or other value that substitute for currency; Natural persons providing CVC money transmission as person-to-person (P2P) exchangers;…
On February 13, the European Commission adopted a new list of “high-risk” jurisdictions that the Commission identified as posing significant threats to the European Union’s financial system as a result of strategic deficiencies in their anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CFT) frameworks.  In addition to countries like North Korea, Iran, and Syria, the list also includes four US territories.  In response, the US Department of Treasury expressed “significant concerns about the substance of the list,”…
The FinCEN Customer Due Diligence Requirements for Financial Institutions, known as the CDD Rule or the “Fifth Pillar,” becomes effective today for certain covered U.S. Financial Institutions.  This CDD Rule, which amends U.S. Bank Secrecy Act regulations, seeks to improve financial transparency and prevent money laundering/terrorist financing.  The CDD Rule applies to covered U.S. financial institutions that are banks, mutual funds, brokers or dealers in securities, futures commission merchants, and introducing brokers in commodities.…
A series of recent federal enforcement actions targeting weaknesses in Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money laundering (BSA/AML) compliance programs continued on March 16, when U.S. Gold refinery Elemetal LLC, based in Dallas, Texas, pled guilty in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida to a single-count information charging failure to maintain an adequate BSA/AML program. Elemental admitted that from August 2012 through November 2016, it purchased and refined billions of dollars of gold from countries…