Financial Regulatory Forum

U.S. Treasury cautions Bitcoin businesses on compliance duties, advocate cites ‘chilling effect’

By Guest Contributor
January 6, 2014

By Brett Wolf, Compliance Complete

NEW YORK, Jan.6 (Thomson Reuters Accelus)  - The U.S. Treasury Department’s anti-money laundering unit has mailed roughly a dozen letters to businesses linked to the digital currency Bitcoin warning they may be money transmitters and be required to comply with federal law and regulation, a Treasury spokesman told Compliance Complete.

U.S. Treasury’s know-your-customer proposal delayed by struggle for regulatory consensus

By Guest Contributor
September 30, 2013

By Brett Wolf, Compliance Complete

NEW YORK, Sept. 30 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) – A months-long delay in the release of a know-your-customer rule proposal that would have an impact across the financial industry is the result of the U.S. Treasury Department’s inability to reach a consensus with regulators on key details of the measure, sources familiar with the matter say.
Rob Rowe, a lawyer with the American Bankers Association’s Center for Legal and Regulatory Compliance, said “a number of bankers have asked about the status of the proposal.” (more…)

U.S. using subpoenas under 1989 act as new tool to probe financial firms

By Guest Contributor
January 3, 2013

By Andrew W. Schilling, Compliance Complete contributing author

The U.S. Department of Justice has increased its use of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act(FIRREA) to prosecute wrong-doing by financial firms. Accordingly, more institutions may find themselves having to deal with a subpoena under the act, including those that are directly targeted under the act. In-house counsel would be well advised to familiarize themselves with the statute and to respond to such subpoenas cautiously.

New U.S. FinCEN director must bolster agency under pressure over Iran sanctions, money laundering

By Guest Contributor
September 21, 2012

By Brett Wolf

NEW YORK, Sept. 21 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) - When former Justice Department official Jennifer Shasky Calvery takes the reins at the U.S. Treasury Department’s anti-money laundering bureau on Monday, her first job is to revive the beleaguered agency amid pressure over Iran sanctions and money-laundering enforcement, sources said.

U.S. Justice Department eyes compliance lapses in next era of money-laundering cases

By Guest Contributor
September 4, 2012

By Aruna Viswanatha and Brett Wolf

NEW YORK, Sept. 4 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) - The U.S. Department of Justice is shifting its sights to a new offensive in combating money laundering: bringing criminal charges against banks and other financial institutions for weak compliance systems that fail to catch illicit money flows.

U.S. Treasury wants financial institutions to help combat identity theft-related tax frauds

By Guest Contributor
April 2, 2012

By Brett Wolf

NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Accelus) - U.S. Treasury Department reminded financial institutions of their obligation to lend a hand as the Internal Revenue Service struggles to crack down on rampant schemes using identity theft to obtain fraudulent tax refunds via electronic filings.

Squeeze on money-transfers to Somalia requires new vigilance by U.S. banks

By Guest Contributor
January 27, 2012

By Brett Wolf

ST. LOUIS/NEW YORK, Jan. 27 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) – Somalis and Somali-Americans in Minneapolis, Minnesota are struggling to send money to their families now that the small, ethnic-based, money-remittance firms they relied on are no longer operating. Banks are no longer willing to process their transactions;  they worry that such transactions involving “hawala” transfer agents, commonly known as “hawaladars,” will cause the banks to run afoul of U.S.  sanctions and laws against money laundering and terrorism financing.

U.S. SEC warns brokers over market access, sub-accounts in debut “risk alert”

By Guest Contributor
September 30, 2011


By Stuart Gittleman and Brett Wolf

NEW YORK, Sept. 30 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued an unexpected warning to broker-dealers to supervise trading by customers with direct market access, especially customers that trade using master- and sub-accounts.

COLUMN – U.S. Libya sanctions: vendors beware — and beware of your vendors

By Guest Contributor
March 18, 2011

By Richard J Cellini, Esq, CEO Briefcast analytics. The views expressed are his own.

U.S. budget cut seen threatening state, local financial crime-fighting

By Guest Contributor
March 11, 2011

By Brett Wolf

ST. LOUIS, March 11 (Complinet) – A looming cut to the federal financial crime agency’s budget could cripple state and local investigations that depend on transactions monitored via the anti-money laundering Bank Secrecy Act, worried authorities said.