Matthew Lee

Matthew Lee

Blank Rome LLP

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Justice Department Announces Second Swiss Bank Resolution

On May 8, 2015, the Justice Department announced publicly that it had reached resolution with Vadian Bank AG, of St. Gallen, Switzerland. This announcement marks only the second such resolution that the government has...more

5/12/2015 - DOJ Enforcement Actions Settlement Swiss Banks

FinCEN Announces First Civil Enforcement Action Against Virtual Currency Exchanger

Continuing its aggressive anti-money laundering enforcement agenda, the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced yesterday that it had commenced the first-ever civil enforcement action...more

5/7/2015 - Civil Monetary Penalty Corporate Counsel Cryptocurrency Enforcement Actions FinCEN Money Transmitter Popular Registration Requirement Ripple Virtual Currency Young Lawyers

Latest GTO Reflects FinCEN’s Aggressive Approach to Anti-Money Laundering

On April 21, 2015, the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network issued a geographic targeting order, an anti-money laundering device focused on trade-based money laundering schemes used by drug cartels,...more

5/5/2015 - Anti-Money Laundering Bank Secrecy Act Cartels FinCEN Geographic Targeting Order ICE Illegal Drugs Trade-Based Money Laundering

Display of FinCEN’s Aggressive Anti-Laundering Approach

On April 21, 2015, the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network issued a geographic targeting order, an anti-money laundering device focused on trade-based money laundering schemes used by drug cartels,...more

5/1/2015 - Anti-Money Laundering Bank Secrecy Act Cartels Financial Institutions FinCEN Geographic Targeting Order Illegal Drugs Strategic Enforcement Plan Trade-Based Money Laundering

BSI Provides Road Map For Future Swiss Bank Agreements

On March 30, 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it had entered into a nonprosecution agreement with BSI SA, the first Swiss bank to reach resolution with the U.S. government as to its potential criminal...more

4/24/2015

On the Eve of Tax Day, DOJ Gently Reminds Taxpayers to File Timely and Accurate Returns

Every year as April 15 approaches, we observe an uptick in the frequency of Internal Revenue Service and Justice Department press releases announcing criminal charges against individuals accused of violating the tax laws. ...more

4/16/2015 - Criminal Prosecution DOJ IRS Press Releases Tax Returns

DOJ Announces Major Policy Change on Use of Asset Forfeiture for Structuring Offenses

We previously reported that the Internal Revenue Service had been criticized for its controversial, yet legal, practice of seizing bank accounts when the account holder is suspected of engaging in “structuring.” ...more

4/13/2015 - Bank Accounts Criminal Penalties DOJ Forfeiture IRS Tax Structuring White Collar Crimes

DOJ Announces First Swiss Bank to Reach Resolution Under Swiss Bank Program

Today the Justice Department announced that BSI SA of Lugano, Switzerland, one of the 10 largest private banks in Switzerland, is the first bank to reach a resolution under the Department of Justice’s Swiss Bank Program....more

3/31/2015 - Banks DOJ Non-Prosecution Agreements Switzerland

IRS Issues Further Revisions to Form 8938 Instructions

As part of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) passed by Congress in 2010, individual taxpayers are now required to report “specified foreign financial assets” on an information reporting form entitled Form 8938,...more

3/11/2015 - FATCA IRS Required Forms

FinCEN issues $1.5 million Penalty against Pennsylvania Bank for AML Violations

On February 26, 2015, the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) issued an assessment of a civil money penalty totaling $1,500,000 against First National Community Bank (“FNCB”), which is...more

3/5/2015 - Civil Monetary Penalty Enforcement Actions FinCEN First National

IRS Announces That More Than 50,000 Have Enrolled In OVDP; Amnesty Program To Remain Open Indefinitely

Yesterday, the Internal Revenue Service unveiled its latest statistics on participation in its Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP), an amnesty program for taxpayers with undisclosed foreign bank accounts that has...more

1/30/2015 - Enrollment Enrollment Statistics Foreign Bank Accounts IRS OVDP

IRS Updates Streamlined Certification Forms; Narrative Explanation Is Mandatory

The Internal Revenue Service has recently updated the certification forms required to be filed by taxpayers seeking to avail themselves of the Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures. The streamlined program was...more

1/16/2015 - FBAR Foreign Bank Accounts IRS

FATCA Update: More Guidance, IGAs, Forms Announced by Treasury and IRS

1. The United States announced the signing of two more Intergovernmental Agreements (IGAs) to implement FATCA. The latest IGAs were signed by the Netherlands and Curacao, and are dated December 18 and 16, respectively. Both...more

1/9/2015 - FATCA FFI Form W-9 Intergovernmental Agreements IRS Reporting Requirements U.S. Treasury

FATCA Update: Treasury Extends Time for Jurisdictions with Agreed-in-Substance IGAs to be Treated as if They Had an IGA in Effect

On December 1, 2014, Treasury and the IRS issued Announcement 2014-38 which provides relief to those countries which have reached FATCA Intergovernmental Agreements (IGAs) in substance, but have not signed such agreements....more

12/16/2014 - FATCA FFI Intergovernmental Agreements IRS U.S. Treasury

FATCA Update: Treasury Clarifies Obligations of Participating FFIs to Report Pre-Existing Accounts

Earlier today, Treasury and the IRS issued yet another correcting amendment to the previously-issued regulations implementing the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). FATCA become effective on July 1, 2014, and...more

11/18/2014 - Amended Regulation FATCA FFI Foreign Bank Accounts IRS Reporting Requirements U.S. Treasury

IRS and DOJ Crack Down on Cash Reporting Violations

Federal law requires that anyone engaged in a trade or business who receives more than $10,000 in U.S. currency is required to file a Form 8300 (available here) with the Internal Revenue Service. Failure to do so can subject...more

11/4/2014 - Bank Accounts Banks DOJ IRS Reporting Requirements

Wegelin & Co. Account Holder Sentenced to Prison Term

On October 30, 2014, a federal judge in Manhattan handed down a three-month prison sentence to an individual who maintained more than $1 million in a secret bank account at Wegelin & Co. in Switzerland. Viktor Kordash, of...more

11/3/2014 - Criminal Prosecution FBAR Foreign Bank Accounts

IRS Clarifies Requirements for Streamlined Filing Procedures

On October 9, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service published additional guidance clarifying the requirements for participation in the Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures. (See prior coverage of the new procedures...more

10/13/2014 - Filing Requirements IRS Offshore Funds OVDP

FATCA Notebook: Former IRS Chief, Taxpayer Advocate Criticize FATCA; Switzerland Moves Toward Greater Transparency

First, former acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller speaks out against FATCA and suggests that the benefits of the new information reporting regime imposed by FATCA may not outweigh its costs. An article published by...more

10/10/2014 - Banks FATCA Foreign Bank Accounts Foreign Banks Intergovernmental Agreements IRS Popular Reporting Requirements Switzerland

FinCEN Issues Geographic Targeting Order Focused on Money Laundering in L.A.’s Fashion District

In the latest development in a probe by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) targeting alleged money laundering activities in Los Angeles’ garment trade, the Financial Crimes...more

10/3/2014 - Bank Secrecy Act Banking Sector Banks Cartels City of Los Angeles Enforcement Actions Fashion Industry FinCEN GTO ICE Illegal Drugs Mexico Money Laundering Popular Recordkeeping Requirements Reporting Requirements

TIGTA Releases Annual Report on IRS Compliance Trends

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) released its annual report on IRS compliance trends yesterday. The key takeaway from the report is TIGTA’s finding that the total amount of revenue received and...more

10/3/2014 - Compliance Enforcement Enforcement Actions IRS U.S. Treasury

FATCA Update: Brazil Signs IGA with U.S. and Treasury Releases More Guidance

On September 24, 2014, the government of Brazil announced it had signed an intergovernmental agreement with the United States as part of its adoption of the requirements of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). The...more

9/29/2014 - Brazil FATCA FFI Intergovernmental Agreements IRS U.S. Treasury

IRS Issues FATCA Fraud Alert

As part of its continuing efforts to combat the serious problem of identity theft, the Internal Revenue Service warned today that fraudsters have expanded their widening schemes to obtain identity information to foreign...more

9/25/2014 - FATCA FFI Foreign Bank Accounts Fraud Identity Theft IRS Offshore Funds Risk Alert

High Court Should Review Scope Of Crime-Fraud Exception

In Zolin, the Supreme Court determined that a party invoking the crime-fraud exception must make a threshold showing before a district court may review documented attorney-client communications on camera. The court settled on...more

9/4/2014 - Compliance Crime-Fraud Exception Criminal Prosecution FCPA SCOTUS United States v Zolin

The Crime-Fraud Exception: Open Questions for the Supreme Court

In Zolin, the Supreme Court determined that a party invoking the crime-fraud exception must make a threshold showing before a district court may review documented attorney-client communications in camera. The Court settled on...more

8/18/2014 - Attorney-Client Privilege Corruption Crime-Fraud Exception FCPA Fraud SCOTUS United States v Zolin

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