Friday, July 24, 2015

Casino will forfeit $3M

By: Gaynor Dumat-ol Daleno, Pacific Daily News

Tinian’s only hotel casino has entered into a deal with federal prosecutors in which the company agrees to forfeit $3 million in exchange for the end of a criminal prosecution.

The federal government reached the “non-prosecution agreement” with Hong Kong Entertainment Overseas Investments Ltd., which does business as Tinian Dynasty Hotel and Casino, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Guam and the Northern Marianas announced Thursday.

The announcement didn’t state the agreement covers two casino managers, George Que and Tim Blythe, whom the U.S. Justice Department also charged in 2013.

Criminal charges were filed against the casino company and the two managers after a multi-agency search at the casino involving agents from the FBI, the IRS, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Marshals Service and Homeland Security. The Coast Guard transported the agents to Tinian.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

FinCEN Issues Advisory on the FATF-Identified Jurisdictions with AML/CFT Deficiencies

On June 26, 2015, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued an advisory to financial institutions regarding the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) updated list of jurisdictions with strategic anti-money laundering/counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) deficiencies. These changes may affect U.S. financial institutions’ obligations and risk-based approaches regarding relevant jurisdictions. A summary of the changes to the FATF lists follows:
  • Indonesia has been removed from the FATF listing and monitoring process.
  • Ecuador has been removed from the “FATF Public Statement” and included in FATF’s “Improving Global AML/CFT Compliance: On-going Process” document.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina has been added to FATF’s “Improving Global AML/CFT Compliance: On-going Process” document.

Friday, June 26, 2015

FinCEN Enforcement Stacks the Deck in AML Compliance for Casinos and Card Clubs

June 25, 2015 - Introduction Stephanie Booker, Associate Director for Enforcement, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”), recently gave a speech at the Nevada Bar Association’s Bank Secrecy Act Conference in Las Vegas. Involved in the conference were the State Bar of Nevada’s Gaming Law Section, the American Gaming Association, and the University of Nevada–Las Vegas’ International Gaming Institute.

FinCEN is one of the Treasury Department’s primary agencies to oversee and implement policies to prevent and detect money laundering, and the only federal agency to oversee anti-money laundering (“AML”) compliance by casinos and card clubs. FinCEN polices for compliance with AML laws, including the Banking Secrecy Act (“BSA”), which requires certain reporting and recordkeeping by casinos and card clubs in an effort to prevent various financial and crimes. FinCEN works closely with the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) Small Business/Self-Employed Division, which is FinCEN’s delegated examiner for casinos and card clubs. The IRS refers significant violations of AML laws to FinCEN for enforcement action. FinCEN also receives referrals and coordinates its enforcement investigations with criminal law enforcement agencies, including the IRS-Criminal Investigations, the FBI, the Department of Justice’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section, and U.S. Attorney’s Offices and state authorities, as well as other regulatory partners, including the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

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Saturday, June 20, 2015

Casinos are improving their efforts to fight money laundering, Treasury official says

By: J.D. Morris, Vegas Inc

The gaming industry’s fight against criminals who want to use casinos to disguise illegal money was front and center Thursday at the Paris resort.

There, industry leaders and government officials gathered for a conference that addressed how casinos are handling their obligations under anti-money-laundering law.

The verdict, according to one government official: Casinos have done a better job lately of reporting suspicious financial activity, but there’s still room for improvement.

Last year, the director of the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network — or FinCEN — spoke at this same Bank Secrecy Act conference and reminded the casino industry of how it needs to instill itself with a “culture of compliance” when it comes to money-laundering law.

The casino industry is listening, apparently.

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