Financial Regulatory Forum

U.S. agents scramble to grasp how Mexican cartels launder money via L.A. fashion district

By Brett Wolf
October 22, 2014

Federal agents hope documents and electronic data seized during raids on the Los Angeles fashion district last month and cash-transaction reports that businesses in the zone are now required to file will help clarify how Mexico’s drug cartels are using international trade to launder money, law enforcement sources say.

Former MoneyGram compliance chief facing potential record fine regarded as anti-laundering innovator

By Brett Wolf
October 6, 2014

In the late 1990s former MoneyGram International Inc executive Thomas Haider was a compliance leader pushing the money transfer industry to do more to fight financial crime, convincing his and other firms to voluntarily police transactions for illicit activity and report to authorities, a former official with the Treasury Department’s anti-money laundering bureau says.

Federal judge approves HSBC deferred prosecution agreement

By Guest Contributor
July 3, 2013

By Brett Wolf, Compliance Complete

NEW YORK, July 3 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) - A U.S. federal judge has approved the Deferred Prosecution Agreement in which British banking giant HSBC will pay $1.9 billion to regulators and the Justice Department for operating with anti-money laundering weaknesses that among other things allowed drug cartels to launder hundreds of millions of dollars. (more…)

AML reports a key tool for analyzing “21st century crime scene,” New York prosecutors say

By Guest Contributor
June 4, 2013

By Stuart Gittleman, Compliance Complete

NEW YORK, June 4 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) – The suspicious-activity reports and other filings submitted by anti-money laundering officers are quite unlike a child’s letters to Santa Claus — they can be assured of an audience, Manhattan’s top local prosecutor and top staffers told reporters last week.
New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said his staff is continuing the war Bob Morgenthau, his predecessor, waged against the usual focus of AML efforts – drugs, fraud, taxes and terrorism – but they are using new tools and methods to fight emerging criminal threats as well as lower-level “street crime.” (more…)

U.S. Justice Department targeting shop landlords in fight against medical marijuana industry

By Guest Contributor
June 12, 2012

By Brett Wolf

NEW YORK, June 12 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) - A civil statute designed primarily to seize the assets of drug trafficking organizations is now being wielded by federal prosecutors in California in an unconventional and little-noticed attack on medical-marijuana shops in the state.

EXCLUSIVE: Ernst & Young to oversee high-stakes review of Citibank transactions, sources say

By Guest Contributor
April 13, 2012

By Brett Wolf

NEW YORK, April 12 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) - Citibank has retained Ernst & Young to supervise a regulator-mandated review of the bank’s transactions that will seek to determine the degree to which alleged compliance failures allowed drug traffickers or other criminals to launder money, sources familiar with the arrangement said.

Banks face myriad difficulties in trying to return corrupt Gaddafi money

By Guest Contributor
August 30, 2011

By Martin Coyle

LONDON, Aug. 30 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) – Banks face enormous legal and logistical challenges as they try to repatriate the billions of pounds worth of frozen Libyan assets invested in the war-torn North African state, according to industry officials. The process could take years to resolve even though the United Nations has already unfrozen some $1.5 billion in humanitarian aid which will be sent to the country.