Is London the Capitol of Dirty Capital?

By AML RightSource | May 13, 2022
The UK has become a haven for rich Russians. The lax approach to regulation has allowed money laundering to flourish. Recent government action in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine is making a difference, but won’t erase the longstanding relationships that foster financial crime. John and Elliot discuss the challenges presented by the facilitating behavior of gatekeeper professionals and the global nature of the issues in the UK.  

HSI – Cornerstone Outreach

By AML RightSource | May 6, 2022
Homeland Security Investigations’ (HSI) Outreach Initiative – Cornerstone recently shared information about the rising level of organized retail crime (ORC) being perpetrated by transnational criminal organizations. This activity involves planned theft of retail goods for later sale through gray market channels. John and Elliot discuss the value of HSI outreach to the financial crime prevention community and some of the red flags for identifying ORC.  

UAE Continues to Offer Safe Haven to Bad Actors

By AML RightSource | April 29, 2022
The International Consortium of Investigation Journalists (ICIJ) recently shared documents with The Irish Times about the Kinahan organized crime cartel. The Irish Times published an extended article about the actions of the cartel in moving to the UAE and taking advantage of its secrecy laws to avoid prosecution. John and Elliot discuss the recent US sanctions issued against Daniel Kinahan, FATF’s gray listing of the UAE, and the importance of financial transparency.  

FinCEN Issues Guidance on Kleptocracies and Foreign Corruption

By AML RightSource | April 22, 2022
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) recently issued guidance about kleptocracies and foreign corruption. The guidance includes insights into typologies and includes red flags. John and Elliot discuss the guidance, the global focus and nature of the problems identified in the guidance, and the value of the red flags as a training tool.  

Secretary Yellen Discusses Digital Assets

By AML RightSource | April 15, 2022
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen spoke recently at American University about digital assets. The speech looked at the intersection of innovation, policy and regulation. John and Elliot discuss key points in the speech including how innovation in the financial sector often outstrips policy and regulation and how Yellen’s remarks create a good framework for the discussions and activities in the digital asset space.  

The Pandora Papers - The Gatekeepers

By AML RightSource | April 8, 2022
This week The Washington Post and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) published another segment of the Pandora Papers. This latest release focuses on registered agents and their role in representing companies In the United States. John and Elliot discuss the total lack of transparency of corporate ownership in many of states, weakness this creates in the financial crime prevention regime In the US, and ENABLERS Act which was introduced In Congress In October 2021.  

FinCEN Releases New SAR Data

By AML RightSource | April 1, 2022
FinCEN has released new Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) data. The data set covers the full years 2014 through 2021. The information looks at SARs filed by all of the required filers and breaks down the information in a number of ways. John and Elliot discuss some interesting nuggets from the release, speculate on how the data may be analyzed, and talk about finding ways to use the information to improve financial crime prevention programs.  

Another Busy Week in Financial Crime Prevention

By AML RightSource | March 25, 2022
This week the US Department of Justice indicated that it will begin directing prosecutors to “consider requiring” certification at the end of an enforcement action settlement that the “the company’s compliance program is reasonably designed and implemented to detect and prevent violations of the law and is functioning effectively.” Also this week, Chairwoman Maxine Waters of the US House Financial Services Committee issued a letter to trade associations representing numerous US businesses requesting detailed information on the actions that America’s financial institutions and businesses have taken to end their relationships and engagements in Russia and with businesses that support the Russian government. John and Elliot discuss the implications for CEOs and CCOs of the certification idea and how the trade associations may respond to Chairwoman Water’s request from information.  

FATF Guidance for the Real Estate Sector

By AML RightSource | March 18, 2022
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has issued a 2nd Draft Guidance Paper for consideration and agreement to public consultation for the Real Estate Sector. This latest guidance paper will update earlier guidance issued to the sector. John and Elliot discuss some aspects of the draft, including the limited understanding of participants in the sector of money laundering and terrorist financing risks, the large role that the sector plays in many national economies, and the tie in to the Advanced Notice Proposed Rulemaking for new real estate sector reporting requirements, issued by FinCEN in December 2021.  

FinCEN: Stay Alert for Sanction Evasion

By AML RightSource | March 11, 2022
This week FinCEN issued an alert directing US financial institutions to increase their vigilance in watching for efforts to evade Russian related sanctions. The alert identifies several possible evasion typologies that may be used. Elliot  sits down with Tim White, Special Advisor at AML RightSource and global sanctions expert to talk about the alert. Elliot and Tim discuss some of the implications for evasion through the use of virtual currency, and the importance of monitoring changes in transaction flows and volumes, and transactions from new sources. They also note that the alert has value for the financial crime prevention community beyond the US.  

Task Force KleptoCapture

By AML RightSource | March 4, 2022
This week the US Department of Justice announced the formation of Task Force KleptoCapture. The Task Force is an “interagency law enforcement task force dedicated to enforcing the sweeping sanctions, export restrictions, and economic countermeasures” that have been and may be issued. John and Elliot talk about the focus of the new Task Force – targeting “Russian officials, government-aligned elites, and those who aid or conceal their unlawful conduct;” and how it will combat unlawful efforts to circumvent the sanctions programs.  

Ukraine and the Global Sanctions Response

By AML RightSource | February 25, 2022
As a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, nations around the world have put sanctions in place against Russia, Russian companies, and Russian nationals. John sits down with Tim White, Special Advisor at AML RightSource and global sanctions expert to discuss the severity and near term impact of the sanctions announced in the last several days, what sanctions compliance teams should be looking at to comply with these programs, and what other actions may be coming in the near-term. Learn more about the sanctions here -https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy0608

FinCEN and the Rapid Response Program

By AML RightSource | February 18, 2022
FinCEN has published a Fact Sheet on the Rapid Response Program. This program is a cooperative effort with federal law enforcement agencies and many of FinCEN’s global counterpart FIUs to assist fraud victims in attempting to recover stolen funds. John and Elliot discuss the key elements of the program, how to trigger the RRP after a fraud event, and the value of the RRP for financial service providers as a tool to assist their customers who become victims of fraud.  

National Focus on Human Trafficking

By AML RightSource | February 11, 2022
In January the US Department of Justice issued its National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking. This week, a House of Representatives Committee held a hearing on Data Challenges Impacting Human Trafficking Research and Development of Anti-Trafficking Technological Tools. These two events highlight the increasing US national focus on human trafficking. John and Elliot discuss how the data issues noted at the hearing and the efforts identified in the DOJ Strategy impact the efforts of law enforcement and the financial crime compliance community to identify, disrupt, and stop human trafficking.  

US Treasury Meets with NGOs on Activities in Afghanistan

By AML RightSource | February 4, 2022
This week Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson spoke with leaders of NGOs active in Afghanistan. The focus of the conversation was the newly issued FAQs, which are designed to bring more clarity about food and agricultural shipments, support to public hospitals, salary support for teachers and healthcare workers, support for municipal water systems, bank transactions, and cash shipments. The FAQs add to the information issued in December 2021 Fact Sheet Provision of  Humanitarian Assistance to Afghanistan and Support for the Afghan People. John and Elliot discuss how the overall issue of de-risking is brought into clear relief in situations such as Afghanistan and how the FAQs can help financial service providers and NGOs navigate the sanctions against the Taliban and bring humanitarian support to the Afghan people.  

2021 Corruption Perceptions Index Released – Things are Not Improving

By AML RightSource | January 28, 2022
This week Transparency International released its 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). The CPI uses a number of criteria to evaluate the status of corruption in 180 countries. For 2021 the global average remained unchanged at 43 on a 100 point scale. John and Elliot discuss some of the findings in the CPI and the links between corruption, deterioration in human rights, the rise of authoritarianism, and the continuing assault on democracy.  

Treasury Dept Issues Review of 2021 Activities

By AML RightSource | January 21, 2022
This week the US Treasury issued its Year in Review: Treasury’s Top Accomplishments During Year One of the Biden-Harris Administration. The release looks at a broad set of areas for which the Department is responsible. John and Elliot discuss items in the National Security and Protecting the Financial System sections of the release.  

FinCEN Director Outlines Transformations in AML Compliance

By AML RightSource | January 14, 2022
This week FinCEN’s Acting Director, Him Das, delivered remarks at the ABA/ABA Financial Crimes Enforcement Conference. In the speech, he spoke about the shifts in emphasis of Bank Secrecy Act regulations over the past 30-plus years. John and Elliot discuss those shifts and look at the three new areas of focus outlined in Acting Director Das’s remarks: new threats, new innovations, and new partnerships.  

1/6/22 – Where Do We Go From Here?

By AML RightSource | January 7, 2022
This week was the 1st anniversary of the insurrection at the US Capitol. John and Elliot focus their conversation on what the financial crime compliance community can do to identify the monetary footprint of potential domestic terrorist acts. They discuss the recent statements by the President, Vice President, and the Attorney General and urge listeners to report transaction activity that fits the patterns of possible terrorist activity.  

Billions are Hidden in US Real Estate (Archive Edition)

By AML RightSource | December 31, 2021
This episode originally aired on October 15th, 2021.  In August 2021, Global Financial Integrity published Acres of Money Laundering – Why U.S. Real Estate is a Kleptocrat’s Dream. The report compares the real estate money laundering regulations across the G7 countries. John and Elliot discuss the report’s findings on the use of the US commercial real estate market to launder funds and the roles played in the transactions by various gatekeepers. They also call out some of the key recommendations in the report. A link to the report -https://gfintegrity.org/report/acres-of-money-laundering-why-u-s-real-estate-is-a-kleptocrats-dream/ Here's a great article that discusses real estate and the need for real reforms in Australian AML regulations - https://www.amlrightsource.com/news/real-estate-and-the-need-for-real-reforms-in-australian-aml-regulations    

FATF: Review of Standards on Virtual Assets and Providers (Archive Edition)

By AML RightSource | December 24, 2021
The FATF has issued it’s second 12-month review of its revised standards for virtual assets and virtual asset providers. John Byrne, Executive Vice President and Elliot Berman, Creative Director of the AML RightSource staff, sit down and discuss the key elements of the review and its implications for global compliance in this emerging area.  

FinCEN Seeks Comments on the Entire BSA

By AML RightSource | December 17, 2021
This week FinCEN issued an Request for Information and Comment (RFI) on a Review of Bank Secrecy Act Regulations and Guidance. The RFI asks for comments ways to streamline, modernize, and update the AML/CFT regime of the United States. John and Elliot discuss some key questions in the RFI and talk about the importance of making comments on this other regulatory proposals.  

FinCEN Issues Several Proposals on Which You should Comment

By AML RightSource | December 10, 2021
This week FinCEN issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on Anti-Money Laundering Regulations for Real Estate Transactions and a Notice Proposed Rulemaking on Beneficial Ownership Information Reporting Requirements. The ANPRM asks for comments on how to bring US real estate transactions more fully under BSA recordkeeping and reporting requirements. The Proposal on Beneficial Ownership Information asks for comments on a rule requiring reporting by various entities of their beneficial owners. John and Elliot discuss some key points of both issuances and talk about the importance of making comments on these other regulatory proposals.  

Banking Agencies Looking at Impact of Crypto-Assets

By AML RightSource | December 3, 2021
Last week the Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued a Joint Statement on Crypto-Asset Policy Sprint Initiative and Next Steps. The joint statement highlights the current activity by the agencies to understand the impact of crypto-assets on insured depository institutions and the areas the agencies are reviewing for possible future guidance or regulation. John and Elliot discuss some of the key elements of the report, including the need for a common understanding of what crypto-assets are and how they may impact bank capital.      

Pandora Papers: Global and Local Financial Secrets (Archive Edition)

By AML RightSource | November 26, 2021
This episode previously aired October, 8th 2021. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), The Washington Post and many other news organizations around the world have published a series of stories based on nearly 12 million records obtained by the ICIJ – known as the Pandora Papers - which shed light on how heads of state, the super-rich, and criminals have hidden their assets.  John and Elliot look at some of the key findings by the ICIJ, The Post and other media outlets and discuss the implications for oversight and regulation going forward.    

IRS-Criminal Investigation 2021 Annual Report

By AML RightSource | November 19, 2021
This week the IRS published the IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) Fiscal Year 2021 Annual Report. IRS-CI is the criminal investigative arm of the IRS. The report provides detailed information about enforcement actions and partnerships from IRS-CI. John and Elliot discuss some of the highlights in the report, including the international scope of IRS-CI investigations and the breadth of its activities outside of tax enforcement, including in the cybercrime space.                 

Your Sanctions Program is a Key Compliance Issue

By AML RightSource | November 12, 2021
The Office of Foreign Assets Control of the United States Department of the Treasury (“OFAC”), the New York State Department of Financial Services, and the Federal Reserve recently issued a series of enforcement actions against Mashreqbank PSC, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The action all related to failures by the Bank to comply with certain sanction programs. John and Elliot discuss the orders, the specific violations, and the overall usefulness of enforcement actions.                

Interpol Looks At Cultural Property Crime

By AML RightSource | November 5, 2021
INTERPOL has released its latest survey of member countries – Assessing Crimes Against Cultural Property 2020. The report discusses the INTERPOL Stolen Works of Art Database and the recently release ID-Art mobile application. John and Elliot discuss the increases in cultural crimes during 2020 and the challenges faced by countries around the globe as they work to reduce illicit excavations and theft of assets.                    

Latest FATF Plenary; October 2021

By AML RightSource | October 29, 2021
The Financial Action Task Force held its most recent Plenary last week. The delegates completed work on a number key initiatives – updated guidance for a risk-based approach to virtual assets and virtual assets service providers, and a final report on a survey on implementation of standards on cross-border payments. John and Elliot discuss the outcomes of the Plenary and what it means for the financial crime compliance community.                      

Aiming for Improving Tax Fairness

By AML RightSource | October 22, 2021
The Biden Administration and the Treasury Department have unveiled a proposal to improve tax fairness and compliance. The proposal seeks to enhance tax reporting by authorizing the IRS to require financial institutions to report two additional items of information on its customers: the total amount of funds deposited into the account and the total amount withdrawn over the course of a year. John and Elliot discuss the implications of the proposal and its possible impact on financial service company’s compliance activities.       

Billions are Hidden in US Real Estate

By AML RightSource | October 15, 2021
In August 2021, Global Financial Integrity published Acres of Money Laundering – Why U.S. Real Estate is a Kleptocrat’s Dream. The report compares the real estate money laundering regulations across the G7 countries. John and Elliot discuss the report’s findings on the use of the US commercial real estate market to launder funds and the roles played in the transactions by various gatekeepers. They also call out some of the key recommendations in the report. A link to the report -https://gfintegrity.org/report/acres-of-money-laundering-why-u-s-real-estate-is-a-kleptocrats-dream/ Here's a great article that discusses real estate and the need for real reforms in Australian AML regulations - https://www.amlrightsource.com/news/real-estate-and-the-need-for-real-reforms-in-australian-aml-regulations  

Pandora Papers: Global and Local Financial Secrets

By AML RightSource | October 8, 2021
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), The Washington Post and many other news organizations around the world have published a series of stories based on nearly 12 million records obtained by the ICIJ – known as the Pandora Papers - which shed light on how heads of state, the super-rich, and criminals have hidden their assets.  John and Elliot look at some of the key findings by the ICIJ, The Post and other media outlets and discuss the implications for oversight and regulation going forward.    

Suspicious Activity Beyond the SAR

By AML RightSource | October 1, 2021
This week the Department of Homeland Security added an item to its website entitled “if you see something, say something.” The item discusses how individuals can report suspicious activity. John and Elliot look at some of the red flags identified by the DHS and discuss the impact of viewing suspicious activity reporting as something beyond the responsibility of entities regulated under the Bank Secrecy Act.  

Regulation of Antiquities – The ANPRM

By AML RightSource | September 24, 2021
This week FinCEN published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding anti-money laundering regulations for the trade in antiquities. John and Elliot look at some of the questions in the ANPRM, discuss who FinCEN would like to receive comments from, and remind listeners about the importance of providing comments to ANPRMs and the proposed regulation when they are published later this year.      

Basel: Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Risk

By AML RightSource | September 17, 2021
This week the Basel Institute on Governance published its 10th AML Index. The Index looks at activities by 112 countries to effectively operate AML/CFT systems. John and Elliot share some insights into how the index is applied and the results.         

Some Thoughts on 9/11

By AML RightSource | September 10, 2021
This week is the 20th anniversary of 9/11. The events of that day impacted many lives and changed how people view the world and the threats in it. It also impacted how the financial crime compliance community looks at threats and performs its work. John and Elliot share some insights on how 9/11 changed things over the past 20 years.      

FATF: Mutual Evaluation Report – Japan

By AML RightSource | September 3, 2021
This week FATF issued a Mutual Evaluation Report for Japan. John and Elliot discuss the findings in the report, the report process, and the focus of the process on assessing the effectiveness of a nation’s measures and their level of compliance with the FATF Recommendations.  

Cybersecurity: A Global Challenge

By AML RightSource | August 27, 2021
This week saw a White House summit on cybersecurity making clear the connection between cybersecurity and national security. John and Elliot discuss the importance of connecting the domestic focus with our efforts globally to form strong partnerships and build effective cooperation to thwart cyber threats, and protect the international financial system.      

Afghanistan - From Bad to Worse

By AML RightSource | August 20, 2021
This week saw the rapid fall of the Afghan government to the Taliban. John and Elliot discuss the collateral damage from this sudden change, examining the impact on financial access for individuals, NGOs and national government, the safety of historical artifacts, and how these changes can affect civil liberties.    

A Busy Week in Virtual Currency

By AML RightSource | August 13, 2021
This week saw virtual currencies be the focus in many venues. John and Elliot discuss statements from the head of the SEC and the fine levied against BitMEX by FinCEN for regulatory violations. They also review the negotiations in the US Senate, during the debate on the Infrastructure Bill, surrounding tax reporting by participants in the virtual currency ecosystem.      

New Cuban Sanctions

By AML RightSource | August 6, 2021
This week, Tim White and John Byrne discuss the recently imposed sanctions on Cuban officials by the Biden Administration     

The Risks of Central Bank Digital Currencies

By AML RightSource | July 30, 2021
This week at a hearing of a subcommittee of the House Banking Committee the risks related to central bank digital currencies. John and Elliot discuss some key risks identified in the testimony, including dollar primacy, economic and trade sanctions, and cybersecurity.

The Nexus of Narcotics Trafficking and Dirty Money

By AML RightSource | July 23, 2021
This week the US Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control held hearing on the federal response to the drug overdose epidemic. John and Elliot discuss key themes of the hearings, interesting elements of the testimony, and insights into how the traffickers are moving their ill-gotten gains.    

Proposed Interagency Guidance on Third-Party Relationships

By AML RightSource | July 16, 2021
This week US banking regulators asked for comment on proposed interagency guidance on third-party relationships. The proposed guidance will replace existing guidance, some of which dates to 2009. John and Elliot discuss the proposal, what financial service providers should consider as this proposal becomes final, and how the proposal may impact the examination process.

FATF: Review of Standards on Virtual Assets and Providers

By AML RightSource | July 9, 2021
The FATF has issued it’s second 12-month review of its revised standards for virtual assets and virtual asset providers. John Byrne, Executive Vice President and Elliot Berman, Creative Director of the AML RightSource staff, sit down and discuss the key elements of the review and its implications for global compliance in this emerging area.

The New National Priorities for AML and Terrorist Financing

By AML RightSource | July 2, 2021
This week FinCEN issued the first Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism National Priorities. They identify eight areas of focus for the next four years. John and Elliot discuss the Priorities, what they mean for the focus of enforcement going forward, how they may impact the examination process, and how FIs may consider responding publication of the Priorities.  

Information Sharing - It Really Works!

By AML RightSource | June 25, 2021
This week John and Elliot discuss the recent FinCEN recognition of a number of organizations related to the use of a Bank Secrecy Act, how they are using the data to aid in law enforcement efforts. They go through a handful of the examples listed in the document, and also talk about how friends of the show made FinCEN's list!  

National Strategy for Combatting Domestic Terrorism

By AML RightSource | June 18, 2021
The US Administration is continuing its focus on domestic terrorism. This week it published its National Strategy for Combatting Domestic Terrorism. This week, Executive Vice President John Byrne, and Creative Director Elliot Berman of the AML RightSource staff discuss the key elements of the strategy and what it may mean for Bank Secrecy Act compliance going forward.  

Corruption: A Topic of Global Focus

By AML RightSource | June 11, 2021
The US Administration and the United Nations are focusing on the adverse impact of corruption on the global economy and political stability. This week, Executive Vice President John Byrne, and Creative Director Elliot Berman of the AML RightSource staff discuss these efforts and how both organizations are working to create change and motivate nations around the world to take up actions to reduce this nefarious activity.

Tax Fairness and Shell Companies - the EU Weighs In

By AML RightSource | May 28, 2021
The European Commission has issued a Communication on Business Taxation for the 21st century. The focus of the communication is to “promote a robust, efficient and fair business tax system” in the EU. This week, Executive Vice President John Byrne, and Creative Director Elliot Berman of the AML RightSource staff discuss the communication and its recognition that increasing the fairness in a tax system requires dealing with the problem of shell companies. John and Elliot explore the importance of transparency and the alignment of the EU effort with those of the current US administration.