5/09/2012 FinCEN May Require New "Beneficial Owner" Disclosures from Financial Institutions.
Effort seeks to counter attempts by criminals, terrorists, and even legitimate entities attempting to hide the identities of investors.
10/13/2011 Piracy for Ransom Increasingly Lucrative, Ventures Sometimes Syndicated
A report by the Financial Action Task Force on piracy describes the increasingly lucrative nature of the business of holding ships and crews for ransom, as well as the difficulty that the international community faces in stopping piracy on the high seas.
9/24/2011 Business Travelers Beware: Free Hotel Computers Providing Internet Access Can Be Hacked
Ever check your bank balance on a hotel computer? A recent government report describes an identity thief who traveled around the country, staying at high-end hotels, who installed a virus on computers available to the guests.
2/14/2011 Mideast Developments Get FinCEN’s Attention
The upheaval in Tunisia and Egypt has not gone unnoticed by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. The agency has issued a warning to U.S. financial institutions that “senior foreign political figures” may be fleeing Tunisia and trying to take out money that does not belong to them.
1/11/2011 Major Study of New Payment Methods Released by FATF
The Financial Action Task Force, which provides guidance for financial intelligence units around the world, including FinCEN in the United States, has issued a report on new payment methods (NPMs)
12/06/2010 FinCEN Tweaks and Tightens SAR Confidentiality Requirements
FinCEN has tightened the rules allowing state and tribal authorities to get SAR filing information from institutions regulated by such authorities. There appears to have been a concern that state and tribal authorities, if they are not overseeing institutions regarding BSA requirements, should not have access to confidential SAR information.
09/13/2010 Cuckoo Smurfing Requires Sophistication, But Is Increasing In Some Financial Systems The tactic was originally identified by Australian authorities in 2008
The Financial Action Task Force has issued a global threat report describing money laundering and terrorism financing threats, looking particularly at new trends.
7/8/2010 The Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010
The Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010, Pub. L. 111-195, imposes additional economic sanctions in an effort to stop or at least impede Iran’s nuclear program and terrorist activities.
7/1/2010 FinCEN Proposes New Rules on Gift Cards and Other Prepaid Access Devices
A gift card is one of the simpler types of “stored value” devices included under the anti-money laundering regulations. A transit card for the New York City transit system is another. Unfortunately for FinCEN, which introduced regulations regarding such devices in 1997, the terminology of the industry has evolved and “stored value” is not widely used, nor really accurate.
6/9/2010 Savings Bank Had Numerous MSB Customers, Yet Did Not Distinguish Customers with Heightened Risks
Pamrapo Savings Bank of Bayonne, New Jersey, has been fined $1 million for Bank Secrecy Act violations. Reading the enforcement action, one wonders why the fine was so low
3/22/10 Hiring Incentives Act Contains New Witholding Requirements
IThe new law includes provisions that make it easier for the IRS to monitor accounts at foreign financial institutions.
On March 18, President Obama signed the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act (PL 111-147), designed to encourage the hiring of unemployed workers, providing payroll tax forgiveness for hiring unemployed workers and a business tax credit for retention of newly hired individuals in 2010.
3/12/10 No-action Letter for Broker-Dealers’ Having Registered Investment Advisers Perform CIP Function Adds New Requirement
IEvery two years, the SEC has issued a no-action letter providing that broker-dealers may rely on registered investment advisers to perform customer identification program functions. As expected, a no-action letter was issued on January 11 to the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.
2/16/10 FinCEN Expands Information Sharing Coverage to Include Foreign Law Enforcement Agencies
IFinancial institutions can expect to begin receiving information sharing requests from foreign law enforcement agencies under rules adopted by FinCEN in February.
1/26/10 Customer Identification Program Address Requirement May Be Satisfied by State Agency Address Where Customer Is Victim of Domestic Violence
In 31 states, victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking may arrange to receive their mail under a state program which keeps their physical addresses private.
1/04/10 FinCEN Finds Banks Still Reluctant to Use Certain Exemptions or Provide Services to MSBs
FinCEN has released a report on bank practices and procedures regarding anti-money laundering programs. The Report notes that filing more than one SAR on a customer may trigger an exit strategy for some banks.