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Money Laundering

For the second time recently, a matter before the Solicitors' Disciplinary Tribunal in England and Wales has considered the use of a firm's clients' account for the provision of quasi-banking services. The SDT is starting to impose more substantial penalties and has clearly had enough of solicitors who fail to comply with their obligations under counter-money laundering laws and regulations. Like in the first case, the solicitor concerned is elderly and one might say that he might be considered as having carried on long-standing practices in the face of changing practice requirements and culture.

The days of Easy Rider are numbered. Around the world, gangs of criminals on motorbikes (colloquially but (usually) legally incorrectly called Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs) have, quite simply, gone too far and as they have become the face of organised crime, usually in large, sparsely populated countries, they are being targeted. While the Hell's Angels have been held up as a model, the gangs are rarely truly members. But while, these days, many Hells Angels groups are filled with ageing lawyers, bankers and wannabe bad boys, the current crop have taken over the worst traits - and business practices, investing in businesses, property and with a raft of professional advisers on retainer. One regulator has had enough and put metaphorical chains on the doors of a law firm.

It might take a stretch of the imagination to join the UK's departure from the EU and the wife-murdering, perhaps syphilitic, definitely unstable, ferociously misogynistic Tudor monarch who is, arguably, the UK's most famous king. But there is a certain logic and the admirably named Lord Judge has applied his considerable legal knowledge and intellect to make that connection and to rightly harry those responsible for the poor legal drafting that plagues English law and, in particular, that relating to the not-admirably named "Brexit." At the heart of his concerns are a major constitutional issue now known as "Henry VIII powers." This month, Parliament is making much of that while debating Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill.

CoNet Section: 

When one looks at investigations into money laundering in Australia, there is a factor that crops up over and over and over again. The money came from, or has a connection to, Malaysia. And it's not the connection the rest of the world expects.

Titled "PROPOSED CHANGES TO THE DFSA’S ANTI MONEY LAUNDERING, COUNTER-TERRORIST FINANCING AND SANCTIONS REGIME," the consultation paper was issued on 18 February 2018 and the consultation period ends on 24th March 2018.

Notes by Nigel Morris-Cotterill, The Anti Money Laundering Network

BIScom Subsection: 

Do the terms of access to your company's website contain provisions as to what may be accessed and for what purposes? Do you, for example, point out that domain names and e-mail addresses are terms of art and therefore protected under copyright legislation? Do you say that, as a result, harvesting that data, and other information that may be subject to data protection, is illegal? Do you say that anyone who accesses your website intending to breach the terms of access is unauthorised and that unauthorised access is a criminal offence?

Meet Raj Yadav. He wants you to pay him to do all of those things. If you use him, or his company, then you are conspiring to commit those offences and, even though he's apparently in a jurisdiction where he might be difficult to reach, the chances are you are not. Now: where did your latest mailing list data come from?

CoNet Section: 

Andrew Janssen, a 37 year old man from Garland, Texas in the USA is hoping someone will stump up his USD50,000 bail. He can't do it himself after he was held on Wichita Falls on charges of money laundering and his stash of cash seized.

A report in the Vancouver Sun details the amazing failure of a project called "Statistical Analysis Software", currently in its fourth year and so far costing CND7.3 million, to design and implement money laundering risk identification and assessment software at the British Columbia Lottery Corporation's casino business which is deeply embroiled in money laundering investigations by the RCMP. It's a case study in how to stuff up = and now questions relating to the software and its failure are being added to the investigation.

There's much jargon flying around in the world of counter-money laundering. It starts with the mistaken name of "anti-money laundering," via the equally erroneous "red flags" to the current vogue terms of "artificial intelligence" and "machine learning." As FinTech and RegTech have passed their media bubble phases, the next wave is so-called "AI AML."

Think about this: when you install any form of AI, you are outsourcing to the software providers the function that the law requires that your staff perform.

Before you even meet the representatives of the start-ups that want to either bolt onto or supplant your existing technology provider, there are several questions you must ask. Here they are.

According to a report in Business Insider, Mark Hayward, CEO of National Association of Estate Agents told the newspaper that “Fines are not publicly being made known but, anecdotally, we know they are significant,” The Money Laundering Regulations 2017 are at the heart of the HM Revenue and Customs action but The Criminal Finances Act also comes into play. The report refers to "fines" of "millions."

AUSTRAC statement

Are you a digital currency exchange provider?
16 January 2018 (updated 18 January)

India's Enforcement Directorate (ED) is involved in a rapidly increasing number of cases where money laundering is alleged and it is not afraid to go after high-profile, well connected, targets. But the latest case to gain publicity is even more sensitive than others. And the ED is finding itself the target of unwelcome attacks by some of India's most powerful people.

US President Trump has been looking for a win: for almost a year, the Senate has frustrated his legislative ambitions. His Bill to make fundamental changes to the USA's income and company tax structure was expected to be the next big failure. Instead, it has sailed through both Houses, but its final signing into law will be delayed due to "a procedural issue," although the result of that is a formality in favour of it being passed. Once in place, it will mean the biggest revision of the US Tax Code for more than 30 years. Some of the changes mean that MLROs etc. overseas will need to revise their policies.

The judgment in the AUSTRAC -v-Tabcorp civil case is a landmark: it's the first civil case that AUSTRAC has brought to a conclusion in court. But the judgment is only the latest step in a long running investigation and series of regulatory actions against the ASX-listed gambling giant.

A man who, through a corporate entity, operated off-street parking schemes on premises owned by a fund to raise money for former servicemen has been arrested after an investigation discovered that he, allegedly, failed to account to the fund for as much as USD11 million over a period of years.

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