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World Money Laundering Report

London and Hong Kong: 26 November 2011 : 04:00 GMT

The Anti Money Laundering Network is delighted to announce that its subsidiary Vortex Centrum Limited has, after several years of repeated attempts, at last gained control of the internet domain name World Money Laundering Report.com

Ocean Bank of Miami, Florida, has been issued with penalties by the Federal Deposit Indemnity Corporation, Florida Office of Financial Regulation and FinCEN in respect of a series of breaches of the Bank Secrecy Act and other anti-money laundering laws and regulations. The bank neither admits nor denies the allegations.

The USA's Securities and Exchange Commission is, understandably, delighted: yesterday, it told a Court that USD230 million held in an offshore account in the name of a fund under investigation as a possible ponzi scheme has been transferred to the SEC pending the conclusion of investigations against Highview Point Partners and the operators of the fund.

Today is the 17th May. It's Tuesday. But in the USA, even on the East Coast, it's still Monday evening. That makes the deluge of enforcement announcements that the SEC has issued in the past few hours all the more impressive. Less impressive is that some related to action more than a week ago, and in some cases in February 2011 which renders them of less value for due diligence purposes where freezing orders have been obtained.

Canada is a wonderfully peaceful place - most of the time. But outlaw motorcycle gangs and widespread cannabis cultivation are omnipresent threats. No one expected to find similar problems in New Zealand - until yesterday.

As off-site storage of hard copies becomes more common - as does outsourcing of document destruction - the question of liability for loss and / or security breaches becomes ever more important. A US insurance company has designed a policy specifically for that industry.

It really would be helpful if the USA would stop inventing new uses for existing terms: they did it with "billion" and "Orient," they get "protest" wrong and they really, really, really don't have a grip on "terrorism." But despite that, their warnings about "sovereign citizens" should not be ignored and financial institutions are in the front line.

"This case is a good example of how disregarding reporting and compliance can turn into a crime" : New Jersey District Attorney's Office. But still the USA fails, even in the most blatant cases, to prosecute a bank for money laundering.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has obtained an emergency court order to shut down a Ponzi scheme targeting retirees in California and Illinois by inviting them to estate planning seminars and later coaxing them to buy promissory notes for purported Turkish investments.

It's a mark of just how tunnel-visioned the USA's counter-money laundering strategy is that it is only now getting around to thinking about including non-bank lenders in its regulatory net. The US needs a massive kick in the soft bits and told to get its law sorted out, says Nigel Morris-Cotterill, Head, The Anti Money Laundering Network. It's time the FATF stepped in and issued a warning about the USA, he says.

As Lord Woolf confirms that the Court of Appeal was wrong to allow John "Goldfinger" Palmer to retain proceeds of fraud, the Home Office is deciding whether to try to use the Proceeds of Crime Act to attack the funds. Easy-peasy, says Nigel Morris-Cotterill

The Associated Law Societies of Canada have succeeded in their attempts to overturn some of Canada's requirements that lawyers report

It may not be scientific research but the word-of-mouth system around South East England last week was that the property boom was already in the grip of a downturn as the IMF issued a report saying that it was all rosy. Last year, the UK housing market, according to some reports, soared 25% by average house price value.

Russia is to be admitted to the Financial Action Task Force at its plenary meeting in Berlin this coming June.

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