Money Services Business

News & Analysis as of

The Financial Report - Volume 14, No. 17 - September 2015 (US)

We all love to quote statistics when they tend to support whatever position we may be advocating. At the same time, however, we are often loath to take the time and effort to respond to surveys or provide information needed...more

Amendments to Canada’s Anti-Money Laundering Legislation: What’s New and What’s Next

On July 4, 2015, the federal government released amended regulations (Regulations) under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA). While there are some additional regulatory burdens...more

FinCEN Fines MSB and Its Owner for Alleged BSA Violations

Today, FinCEN announced the assessment of a civil money penalty against a Los Angeles-based Money Services Business (MSB) and its owner for alleged violations of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). During a 2011 examination of the...more

Treasury Department Publishes National Money Laundering Risk Assessment and National Terrorist Financing Risk Assessment

On June 12, 2015, Treasury Department issued its National Money Laundering Risk Assessment (NMLRA) and National Terrorist Financing Risk Assessment (NTFRA). This is the Department’s first NMLRA release in a decade and its...more

FinCEN Fines Michigan MSB For BSA/AML Violations, Bans Owner From Serving at Any U.S. Financial Institution

On May 29, a Michigan-based money service business (MSB), along with its owner, admitted to repeated violations of the BSA and have agreed to pay FinCEN a civil money penalty in the amount of $12,000. The company violated the...more

Corporate Investigations & White Collar Defense - May 2015

It’s an Absolute Privilege to Meet You! Texas Supreme Court Rules That Internal Investigation Report Provided by Shell Oil to DOJ Enjoys “Absolute Privilege” - Why it matters: On May 15, 2015, the Texas Supreme Court...more

Ripple Labs Fined $700,000 Over Bank Secrecy Act Violations: Lessons Learned from FinCEN’s first Civil Enforcement Action Against...

On May 5, 2015, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) fined Ripple Labs Inc. (“Ripple Labs”) and its wholly owned subsidiary XRP Fund II LLC (“XRP II”) $700,000 for violations of the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”)....more

“Firsts” for the World of Virtual Currencies

There have been two recent virtual currency-related actions worthy of note: (1) the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) announced its first civil enforcement action against a virtual currency exchanger, and (2)...more

Department of Justice Settles Virtual Currency Enforcement Action

The US Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of California recently settled an enforcement action against Ripple Labs Inc., a Delaware corporation providing virtual currency exchange services. According to the settlement...more

FinCEN Resolves First Enforcement Action Against Virtual Currency Exchange

On May 5, a virtual currency company and its subsidiary agreed to pay a $700,000 civil money penalty for violating multiple provisions of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), in which both companies acted as a money service business...more

Bridging the Week - May 2015 #2

Two Traders Subject of CME Summary Suspension for Alleged Spoofing Sued by CFTC Too - Last week, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission commenced a lawsuit in federal court in New York against Heet Khara and Nasim...more

The District of Columbia Adopts the NMLS Uniform Authorized Agent Reporting (UAAR)

The District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking has begun using the Uniform Authorized Agent Reporting (UAAR) process of the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System & Registry (NMLS) to satisfy agent...more

Dealing with high-risk clients and final advice for maintaining an effective AML compliance program

Dealing with high-risk clients in an era of enhanced AML enforcement - To identify and trace criminal activity, federal law enforcement relies on the mandatory filing of suspicious activity reports (SARs) by financial...more

OFAC Announces Settlement with Money Services Business for Violations of Sanctions Programs

On March 23, Department of the Treasury’s OFAC announced a settlement agreement with a large money services business (MSB) for failing to implement an effective compliance program “to identify, interdict, and prevent...more

FinCrimes Update - November 2014 Summary, Volume 1, Issue 9

IN THIS ISSUE: BSA/AML & OFAC | Virtual Currency & Payment Systems | FCPA & Anti-Corruption | Criminal Enforcement. ...more

Digital Currency Corner - What FinCEN’s Denial of Payment Processing Exemption for Virtual Currency-Related Businesses Means for...

Why it matters - The rapid evolution of virtual and digital currencies has spawned significant activity in several federal agencies with implications potentially for traditional entities in certain cases. In addition...more

FinCEN Issues Statement On Providing Banking Services to Money Services Businesses

On November 10, FinCEN released a statement to reiterate that banking organizations can serve Money Services Businesses (MSB) while meeting obligations under the Bank Secrecy Act. FinCEN noted that there is concern that banks...more

Recent Key Bitcoin and Virtual Currency Regulatory and Law Enforcement Developments

In recent months, US federal and state regulators have continued to focus on Bitcoin and the adoption of a regulatory framework for it and other "virtual currencies," as well as the enforcement of existing securities laws to...more

FinCEN Issues Statement Encouraging Banks to Evaluate Money Services Businesses on a Case-by-Case Basis

On November 10, 2014, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued a Statement addressing bank “de-risking,” often described as the practice of closing accounts or refusing to open accounts for particular types...more

Financial Services Weekly News Roundup - November 2014 #2

The SEC first proposed a study of the fiduciary obligations of brokers and investment advisers as required by the Dodd-Frank Act in July 2010. The SEC still has not made a decision about the shape of a fiduciary rule for...more

FinCEN Releases Statement Encouraging Banks to Offer Services to Money Service Businesses (MSBs)

In what may be good news for emerging virtual currency companies and emerging payments companies, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) released a public statement yesterday regarding the willingness of banks to...more

New Bitcoin Firms May Get Transitional License in New York

On November 2, New York Superintendent Lawsky delivered remarks at the Money 20/20 Conference on the state’s virtual currency and Bitcoin regulation. In October, Lawsky publicly stated that, as a result of the comments...more

FinCEN Strikes at Virtual Currency Anonymity, Rules that Virtual Currency Converter is a Money Services Business Under Bank...

On October 27, 2014, FinCEN ruled in response to a Request for Administrative Ruling that a company that converts traditional currencies into Bitcoin to facilitate payments must comply with regulations that govern Money...more

Financial Services Weekly News Roundup - October 2014 #5

In this issue: - In preliminarily denying two exemption requests, the SEC takes a stand for market transparency in ETFs and upholds the arbitrage mechanism that allows market prices to closely track NAVs. -...more

FinCEN Releases Two Rulings Classifying a Bitcoin Payment System and Virtual Currency Trading Platform as MSBs

In its opening salvo bringing bitcoin under the watchful eye of the federal government, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued a Guidance (FIN-2013-G001) in March 2013 clarifying that anti-money laundering...more

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