Jessica C. Watt

wattj@ballardspahr.com |  302.252.4449 | view full bio

Jessica assists clients with white collar criminal defense, including conducting internal investigations, responding to subpoenas for documents and testimony, cooperating with ongoing investigations, and making presentations to the DOJ prior to indictment. Jessica’s white collar practice includes matters involving advice regarding AML and BSA compliance, as well as defending against alleged violations of the False Claims Act and other fraud and regulatory offenses.

Jessica also practices complex commercial litigation, with experience in cases involving breach of contract, fraud, and disputes related to lending and finance agreements. Her corporate litigation work includes matters of corporate control, corporate governance, statutory and contractual disputes, statutory demands for inspection of corporate books and records, and breach of fiduciary duties. 

Latest Articles

Authorities Begin to Focus on Individual Responsibility This week, Danish prosecutors charged Thomas Borgen, the former chief executive officer of Danske Bank, for his involvement in the money laundering scandal arising out of Danske Bank’s Estonian branch, involving an astonishing 200 billion euros ($224 billion) in alleged suspicious transactions. Borgen, whose home prosecutors reportedly raided on March 12, oversaw Danske Bank’s international operations, including Estonia, between 2009 and 2012. Borgen stepped down as CEO of…
Bill Would Create BSA Whistleblower Program First Post in a Three-Post Series Last week, the House Financial Services Committee released three proposed bills to codify many of the reform ideas that have arisen in an ongoing conversation among financial agencies, law enforcement, financial institutions, and commentators regarding the Bank Secretary Act (“BSA”) and Anti-Money-Laundering (“AML”) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (“CFT”) laws. These reform topics include information sharing, resource sharing, and technological innovation
Director Blanco Emphasizes BSA Resource Sharing, Technological Innovation, and Collaboration Between Public and Private Sectors The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) released prepared remarks delivered by FinCEN director, Kenneth A. Blanco, at the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) Anti-Money Laundering (AML) & Financial Crimes Conference on February 4, 2019. Director Blanco’s speech highlights various regulatory reform efforts, including the approval of collaborative sharing of Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) resources and an interagency initiative…
Happy New Year! But while 2018 is still (just barely) with us, let’s take a look back. 2018 has been a very busy year in the world of money laundering and AML/BSA. We are highlighting 12 of our most-read blog posts, which address many of the key issues we’ve examined this year. The Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive: Extending the Scope of the European Union’s Regulatory Authority to Virtual Currency Transactions FinCEN’s Beneficial Ownership Rule: More Practical Tips and
Happy New Year! But while 2018 is still (just barely) with us, let’s take a look back. 2018 has been a very busy year in the world of money laundering and AML/BSA. We are highlighting 12 of our most-read blog posts, which address many of the key issues we’ve examined this year. The Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive: Extending the Scope of the European Union’s Regulatory Authority to Virtual Currency Transactions FinCEN’s Beneficial Ownership Rule: More Practical Tips and
Estonian “Non-Resident Portfolio” Produces Colossal Money Laundering Scandal This week Danske Bank released a report detailing the results of its much anticipated internal investigation into allegations of money laundering perpetrated in its Estonian branch. The results of the investigation dwarfed even the boldest predictions. The report found between 2007 and 2015 the Estonian branch processed a staggering 200 billion Euros, or $234 billion, in suspicious transactions by thousands of non-resident costumers. The report finds the…
Estonian “Non-Resident Portfolio” Produces Colossal Money Laundering Scandal This week Danske Bank released a report detailing the results of its much anticipated internal investigation into allegations of money laundering perpetrated in its Estonian branch. The results of the investigation dwarfed even the boldest predictions. The report found between 2007 and 2015 the Estonian branch processed a staggering 200 billion Euros, or $234 billion, in suspicious transactions by thousands of non-resident costumers. The report finds the…
Earlier this month, the District Court for the Central District of California imposed a prison sentence of one year and a day, with three years of supervised release, on defendant Theresa Lynn Tetley, who had pleaded guilty to: (i) the unlicensed operation of a digital currency exchange due to failure register with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”), in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1960(a) and (b)(1)(B), and (ii) a money laundering charge, in violation of 18 U.S.C.…
Earlier this month, the District Court for the Central District of California imposed a prison sentence of one year and a day, with three years of supervised release, on defendant Theresa Lynn Tetley, who had pleaded guilty to: (i) the unlicensed operation of a digital currency exchange due to failure register with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”), in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1960(a) and (b)(1)(B), and (ii) a money laundering charge, in violation of 18 U.S.C.…
Incorporation Solidifies Customer Due Diligence as “Fifth Pillar” to BSA/AML Compliance Program May 11, 2018 was the much anticipated effective date for the Customer Due Diligence (“CDD”) Requirements for Financial Institutions Rule (the “Beneficial Ownership Rule”) issued by the Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”). On the same day, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (“FFIEC”) released two updates to the Bank Secretary Act/Anti-Money Laundering (“BSA/AML”) examination manual that incorporate and clarify the CDD Requirements…