hile many companies which operate under anti-bribery laws such as the UK Bribery Act or anti-corruption laws such as the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), have compliance programs in place to review business relationships, I have found that one of the areas which most non-banking companies do not sufficiently focus on is anti-money laundering (AML). Money laundering is conduct designed to disguise the proceeds of criminal activity. These include making illegal or improper payments to Foreign Government Officials, the misappropriation, theft or embezzlement of public funds by any party as well as by or for the benefit of Government Officials, paying kickbacks to employees of private companies, creating a scheme to defraud third parties and, in the United States, misusing the mails (whether it is the US mail, private or commercial couriers) and the wires in interstate or international commerce. Money laundering can arise when there is an effort to evade reporting requirements by engaging in a series of funds transfers that individually are below the amount requiring disclosure. Funds may also be laundered by transfers among bank accounts or through the purchase of apparently legitimate assets. Even though they have been “laundered,” these funds still represent the proceeds of criminal activity, and knowingly receiving, transferring, transporting, retaining, using, or hiding such criminal proceeds is illegal.
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