Category Archives: FinCEN

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Facilitating Ransomware Payments Entails Sanctions Risks, OFAC Warns

The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued an advisory on October 1, 2020, warning companies that engage with the victims of ransomware attacks that they run the risk of violating U.S. sanctions by facilitating ransomware payments. Ransomware attacks have increased in number and sophistication in recent years and have netted larger and … Continue Reading

Hemp Banking – FinCEN Issues New Guidance Regarding AML/BSA Obligations

This article was written in collaboration with Jake Fanella and Jessica Caballero at VeriLeaf.  VeriLeaf is a modern RegTech platform that optimizes the onboarding, review and ongoing compliance required for high-risk banking markets. VeriLeaf leverages state-specific requirements and the financial institution’s compliance program to streamline qualification, risk assessment, and onboarding of high-risk businesses in markets … Continue Reading

CFIUS/FIRRMA: Final U.S. Foreign Direct Investment Regulations

Effective February 13, 2020, foreign investment in U.S. businesses and real estate will require pre-deal diligence and timely filings to comply with U.S. law. In the digital economy, the world is flat. As a result, many businesses are at risk of being an inadvertent participant in international and cross-border transactions. Based on significant changes in … Continue Reading

Is the Bank Open? Federal Agencies Clarify Regulatory Requirements for Banking Hemp

On December 3, several federal agencies issued guidance (Guidance) that, by its terms, “provide[s] clarity” regarding “the regulatory requirements under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) for banks providing services to hemp-related businesses.” Hemp proponents hope this additional clarity will encourage hesitant financial institutions to begin serving the hemp industry. The key takeaway from the Guidance … Continue Reading

A Cannabis Banking Bill, Sitting on Capitol Hill

Legislation that would pave the way for financial institutions to transact with cannabis-related businesses operating in states that have legalized marijuana (herein “cannabis-related legitimate businesses”) is quickly working its way through the House of Representatives. The SAFE Banking Act of 2019 was introduced in the House by Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) on March 7, 2019. … Continue Reading

To Catch a Terrorist – Innovation, AI, and Public/Private Partnerships in the World of BSA/AML

On the heels of FinCen and Federal Banking Agencies releasing a joint statement “Encouraging Innovative Industry Approaches to AML Compliance,” Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelker announced a new collaborative era during the American Bankers Association’s Financial Crimes Conference, and emphasized the need for private/governmental working relationships and partnerships in order to combat … Continue Reading

O Canada! What Canada’s Nationwide Legalization of Cannabis Means for American Financial Institutions

Today marks a significant shift in cannabis policy, both domestically and internationally, as Canada becomes the first industrialized nation in the world, and only the second nation overall, to legalize cannabis. This follows the passage of The Cannabis Act in June of this year, which legalized cannabis at all levels of government. With this blessing … Continue Reading

Providing Banking Services to the Legal Marijuana Industry: Mitigating Risks to Maximize Potential Rewards

Since 1996, when California became the first state to legalize marijuana (at the time, for medicinal purposes only), 28 additional states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana to some extent. Public support for legalization continues to rise as more and more jurisdictions loosen their marijuana laws, with 64 percent of Americans in favor … Continue Reading

Navigating Through the Hazy Intersection of Financial Services and the Legal Marijuana Industry

As more states legalize marijuana use, financial institutions face increased uncertainty about how to handle accounts opened by marijuana-related businesses (MRBs) in light of regulatory difficulties stemming from the obvious tension between state and federal law. Although the marijuana industry continues to rapidly grow, financial institutions have largely been sidelined by federal laws prohibiting the … Continue Reading

Don’t Roll the Dice: FinCEN Assesses Significant Penalties on Regulated Entity for Failing to Implement a Comprehensive AML Compliance Program

The U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) imposed a civil money penalty of $12 million against a Nevada based casino, CG Technology, L.P. (CGT) for alleged violations of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) on October 3, 2016. This action continues FinCEN’s recent trend of aggressive expansion and enforcement of anti-money laundering (AML) regulations … Continue Reading

Non-Federally Regulated Banks Are Target of Proposed FinCEN Rules

Last month the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) proposed new rules which would require non-federally regulated banks to implement Customer Identification Program (CIP) requirements related to the collection and verification of customer information. Financial institutions have until October 24, 2016, to comment on the proposed rule, which, if adopted, is estimated to … Continue Reading
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