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Money Laundering

"She was the sort of woman that, if she told you do do something, you did it," PC Robert Carter is reported to have said when asked why he helped his mother, Tamara Carter, to launder the proceeds of criminal conduct from which she received some GBP850,000. A finding of Gross Misconduct at a disciplinary hearing, plus his mother's conviction, suggest that the constable might shortly be receiving a visit from his former colleagues, perhaps even before the Metropolitan Police decide on his penalty. There's an interesting facet to the Board's decision.

This is not about money laundering. It's about how the UK is de-EU-ing law and regulation ready for "exit day." The UK's draft statutory instrument called "The Money Laundering and Transfer of Funds (Information) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018" is an object lesson in technical documentation. It has no life of its own and can only be read alongside other UK law and Regulations. It is of extraordinary importance not because of what it does but because of what it demonstrates. This is an indication of the clerical complexity of withdrawing from the EU even when the principles, as they will in relation to the Money Laundering Directives, will remain as now.

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It's incredible. The European Union has produced five Money Laundering Directives and still in some respects it is not one but two steps behind some countries that are often subject to criticism. Indeed, it is behind many of its own member states. This week, the Council of the European Union "adopted" a "regulation." Politically, the fact that a Regulation has been made is more important than what it does.

A doctor prescribed meds his patients didn't need, claimed payment and spent the proceeds. Now he's serving a 12 year jail sentence for, amongst other things, laundering the proceeds of his own offence.

Organised by Casino Essentials, a three-day conference and exhibition started in Las Vegas yesterday with the opening Keynote Presentation by Kenneth Blanco, Director, FinCEN. Before he got down to the nitty-gritty yesterday, Blanco was chummy with the lawyers and gaming industry reps and in his remarks prepared in advance he said "Thank you for that wonderful introduction, Jim" and "Thank you so much, Mindy, for inviting FinCEN to be a part of this event." So, chummy and psychic? How did the rest of his speech go? We know...

FinCEN can't make its mind up. On 16 May this year, FinCEN granted to covered financial institutions a 90 day exception from the requirement to comply with the " Beneficial Ownership Rule for Legal Entity Customers." Leaving aside the fact that, as with the UK's draft Bill, the term "Beneficial Owner" has been co-opted from an entirely different area of law and is therefore a cause for confusion, FinCEN Is up to its old tricks of mitigating the effect of a Rule while pretending that the USA has a strong counter-money laundering regime. The 90 days is up and, guess, what? FinCEN has extended it. What is going on?

On Friday 13th July 2018, the UK's Serious Fraud Office obtained, from a Magistrates' Court, a warrant for the arrest of Benedikt Sobotka has been issued over his failure to appear for questioning in an ongoing corruption investigation into ENRC and related companies. Failure to appear when required to do so is itself a criminal offence, independent of the allegations under investigation.

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While there is global fascination with the case against Malaysia's former prime minister Najib Razak, who has been charged with offences that, at present, do not include money laundering, the world is seeing an unprecedented range of cases brought against politicians and those close to them. Has the tide turned and are politicians, previously considered largely untouchable, now legitimate targets?

AUSTRAC has released a consultation paper relating to counter-money laundering regulations in the securities sector.

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The news that judges, in London, have been charged with fraud is just part of a much larger problem. Alongside them are solicitors. The Metropolitan Police have been investigating what they describe as a "complex fraud team investigation." The case started after a court clerk reported suspicions of suspicious claims for state-funded payments under the Legal Aid Scheme. However, legal aid fraud has been a long-running problem in the legal system in England and Wales with criminal and immigration practitioners being most commonly reported.

If there's one thing more certain in Formula One than that there will be in-fighting between the teams, it's that every few years some kind of financial scandal will engulf at least some aspect of the sport. And if there's an allegation of cheating, there's always an Italian aspect to it. Put the two things together and you get the worst-kept secret in the sport, but one that could not be openly told because of the way the investigation is conducted: the Italian authorities have been investigating financial affairs connected to the Italian Grand Prix at Monza for more than five years.

The news that Australia is to be the latest country to limit, in some circumstances, cash transactions above a certain financial limit has raised some questions. WMLR takes a critical look at some comments.

For the past week, all the news in Australia has been about the huge give-aways planned for today's budget. Every single news broadcast since Thursday has had the story up front and pushed a message that for the first time in years, there is money in the kitty and the government intends to spend it. But the big stories are about tax reform and measures against tax evasion including banning large cash transactions. That's the headline. It's not quite the reality and, as always, a budget speech is a declaration of intent not fully reasoned legislation. Even so - it's a significant move. (edited)

This is more than a little bit scary. A criminal, exactly what kind isn't clear, has been reading the major Australian employment website Seek.com.au - and then he (it's almost always a "he") is sending invitations to become involved in money laundering or, possibly, to be a victim of a long-established scheme to defraud his victims. The scam letter is a collection of so many currently trendy phrases that it might be convincing - especially to someone who is in awe of cryptocurrencies, blockchain (as they call it) and so many other trigger words. Oh, and there's an interesting twist to the old version of this crime.

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The single over-riding principle that makes cryptocurrency accounts attractive to criminals is not the supposed anonymity (that argument is a done deal except for those who don't know what they are talking about) but the fact that, by design, there is, literally, no single body or person with regulatory authority.

What that means is that, while governments and courts (at the behest of victims) can make Asset Recovery Orders, or, as the US government is trying to do with its listing on OFAC of crypto-currency accounts that it claims it has reasonably identified as connected to listed persons, these are after the fact restrictions and to try to enforce them is, by reason of the essence of the distributed ledger, only ad hoc.

There is another way....

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