Friday, August 15, 2014

Banks Don't Want To Be Responsible For Busting People For Laundering Money At Casinos

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Large global banks are facing increased pressure from U.S. regulators to clamp down on casino money-laundering as the government pushes the industry to police not only its own transactions but customers' as well.

Bankers, casino executives and consultants said the U.S. crackdown has resulted in unprecedented scrutiny and collaboration between the two industries, including banks vetting casino customers' anti-money laundering systems, checking to make sure casinos don’t accept anonymous wire transfers, and offering databases and other information to help the gaming industry identify risky transactions.

While the idea of money-laundering through casinos is nothing new – and has been fodder for plots in Hollywood movies like "Casino" – until recently, banks haven't been expected to take part in regulators' and prosecutors' pursuit of such criminals.

Some bank executives grumble about the extent of the work they have to do for government enforcement agencies now, and the penalty for failure. Standard Chartered Plc said on August 6 that a computer in its anti-money-laundering surveillance system made an error, which a source said could trigger fines between $100 million and $340 million payable to New York State's financial regulator. In an interview with Reuters on August 7, Standard Chartered Chief Executive of Asia, Jaspal Bindra, said the penalties are unfair.

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

FinCEN Director Shasky Calvery's Remarks to Mid-Atlantic AML Conference

August 12, 2014:  FinCEN Director, Jennifer Shasky Calvery provided keynote remarks to an audience of industry, regulatory, and law enforcement AML professionals.

AUGUST 12, 2014

Read her wide-ranging discussion of current AML issues.
Good morning. I am honored to be a part of this year’s conference, which brings together law enforcement, the regulatory community, and the financial industry. I would like to thank everyone on the planning committee who worked to pull together such a compelling agenda for this event. I know I am the first of several FinCEN speakers you will be hearing from today, and we are looking forward to engaging with all of you. While each agency or institution represented here may approach anti-money laundering (AML) issues from a different perspective, and have its own unique challenges, an event such as this shows us that we all have the same ultimate goal in mind.
As you likely already know, the Bank Secrecy Act, or “BSA,” is the common name for a series of statutes and regulations that form this country’s anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism laws. Nearly every country around the world has similar laws in place at this point. These laws are meant to protect the integrity of the financial system by leveraging the assistance of financial institutions to make it more transparent and resilient to crime and security threats, and to provide information useful to law enforcement and others to combat such threats.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Advisory to U.S. Financial Institutions on Promoting a Culture of Compliance

August 11, 2014

BSA/AML shortcomings have triggered recent civil and criminal enforcement actions — FinCEN seeks to highlight the importance of a strong culture of BSA/AML compliance for senior management, leadership and owners of all financial institutions subject to FinCEN’s regulations regardless of size or industry sector.

Shortcomings identified in recent Anti-Money Laundering (AML) enforcement actions confirm that the culture of an organization is critical to its compliance. Although enforcement actions are specific to the subject financial institution and the characteristics of the situation, certain general lessons could be gleaned from these actions that could be instructive to the leadership of all financial institutions required to comply with the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). Accordingly, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issues this Advisory to highlight general principles illustrating how financial institutions and their leadership may improve and strengthen organizational compliance with BSA obligations.

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Monday, August 11, 2014

5 Accused of Laundering Money Through Casino Slots

By The Associated Press
August 7, 2014

KANSAS CITY, Kansas (AP) – Five Kansas residents are accused of trafficking in marijuana and laundering the profits through slot machines at a Kansas City, Kansas, casino.
U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom says a federal indictment handed down on Wednesday alleges the defendants laundered more than $200,000 in cash by depositing the money into slot machines and then cashing out without playing.

The investigation began after the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission contacted the Kansas Bureau of Investigation about suspicious activity at Hollywood Casino. Prosecutors say the defendants were seen depositing large amounts of money in small denominations into the machines, cashing out and redeeming ticket vouchers without making wagers.

An attorney for the lead defendant, 30-year-old Gregory Rapp of Gardner, was not available for comment Wednesday afternoon. No attorneys were listed for the other four.