California Card Club Plagued by Allegations of Criminal Activity Fined $8 Million for AML Violations Today the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced that it had fined a California card club, Artichoke Joe’s Casino, $8 million for numerous willful violations of the Bank Secrecy Act occurring since 2009. In its assessment, FinCEN found that during the last eight years, the card club failed to implement and maintain an effective anti-money laundering program and failed to detect and adequately report suspicious transactions in a timely manner. View Full Post
Tomorrow morning (November 17) the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) is set to release publicly the first set of comprehensive data from the recent “Paradise Papers” leak. The initial data will include information on approximately 25,000 offshore entities and trusts registered in more than 30 jurisdictions, primarily from client records of the Appleby law firm. View Full Post
Indictment of Day Trader for Hacking and Securities Fraud Demonstrates How Bitcoin Can Be Used For Money Laundering Earlier this week, a federal grand jury in Brooklyn returned an indictment criminally charging a self-described “day trader” with various offenses in connection with an alleged computer hacking scheme involving more than 50 online brokerage accounts. The indictment further alleges that the defendant laundered the proceeds of his crimes using Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency. View Full Post
With Another Veteran Criminal Prosecutor at FinCEN’s Helm, Aggressive AML Enforcement Expected To Continue   Today the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced Kenneth A. Blanco as Director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau in Treasury’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. The leading federal anti-money laundering (AML) regulator, FinCEN’s mission is to safeguard the financial system from illicit use and combat money laundering and promote national security through the collection, analysis, and dissemination of financial intelligence and strategic use of financial authorities. View Full Post
IRS Large Business & International Division Rolls Out 11 Additional Compliance Campaigns for Audits On Friday, November 3, 2017, the IRS Large Business and International division (LB&I) announced the identification and selection of 11 additional compliance campaigns. In January 2017, LB&I unveiled its first 13 campaigns to be implemented as part of its effort to move toward issue-based examinations of taxpayers based upon risk assessments so as to make the greatest use of limited audit resources. View Full Post
In its recently-published 2017 National Drug Threat Assessment (NDTA), the Drug Enforcement Administration reports that drug trafficking organizations are turning to Bitcoin and other virtual currencies to enable easy transfer of illicit funds internationally. The NDTA is a comprehensive strategic assessment of the threat posed to the United States by domestic and international drug trafficking and the abuse of illicit drugs. View Full Post
IRS Delays Start Date for Program to Revoke Passports for Tax Delinquents The Internal Revenue Service has once again delayed the start date for implementation of a new law authorizing the State Department to revoke the passports of taxpayers with sizeable tax debts.  According to an IRS web site page entitled “Revocation or Denial of Passport in Case of Certain Unpaid Taxes” (updated as of September 6, 2017), the IRS has not yet started certifying tax debt to the State Department, and such certifications will not begin until January 2018.  View Full Post