Comentarios del Director de FinCEN sobre las Deficiencias en el Cumplimiento de la Moneda Virtual

by Foodman CPAs & Advisors
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El 8 de agosto de 2018, el Director de FinCEN, Kenneth A. Blanco, pronunció un discurso en la Conferencia Técnica (Legal) Chicago-Kent Block 2018. Los puntos más destacados de sus comentarios incluyen:     

  • La innovación en los servicios financieros y la adopción de nuevas tecnologías crean oportunidades para delitos financieros y la moneda virtual (MV) es un ejemplo.
  • Las empresas de servicios monetarios (“MSB”, por sus siglas en inglés) están tratando de incorporar los pagos de Blockchain para agilizar las remesas a lugares en todo el mundo y, como todo sistema de pago o medio de intercambio, la MV tiene el potencial de ser explotada para el lavado de dinero y otras finanzas ilícitas.
  • La Ley y el Reglamento de Secreto Bancario (“BSA”) están diseñados para proteger el sistema financiero, pero el cumplimiento del Lavado de Dinero / Contrarrestar el Financiamiento del Terrorismo (“AML / CFT”) es fundamental para proteger toda la innovación en la Tecnología Financiera.
  • El rol de FinCEN es proteger y asegurar el sistema financiero contra el uso indebido.
  • FinCEN se enfoca en intercambiadores, administradores y otras personas involucradas en la transmisión de dinero denominadas en MV convertible.
  • En 2011, FinCEN emitió una regla final que modifica las definiciones y otras regulaciones relacionadas con los negocios de servicios monetarios para proporcionar que la transmisión de dinero cubra la aceptación y transmisión de valor que sustituye a la moneda. La Moneda Virtual es un sustituto de este tipo y está cubierta por esa regulación.
  • En 2013, FinCEN emitió orientación sobre la aplicación de los reglamentos de FinCEN a las personas que administran, intercambian o usan MV.
  • FinCEN trabaja en estrecha colaboración con la Comisión de Bolsa de Valores (“SEC”) y la Comisión de Comercio de Futuros de Productos Básicos (“CFTC”) para el desarrollo de políticas coordinadas y los enfoques regulatorios y para abordar los riesgos.
  • Los riesgos incluyen posibles finanzas ilícitas y fraudes relacionados con las Ofertas de Monedas Iniciales (“ICO”). Los acuerdos de “ICO” varían según su estructura, pero se espera que las empresas involucradas en los “ICO” cumplan con todas sus obligaciones de AML/CFT.
  • FinCEN / SEC / CFTC se comprometieron a tomar las medidas apropiadas cuando estas obligaciones no tienen prioridad y el sistema financiero de los Estados Unidos se pone en riesgo.
  • Las reglas de FinCEN se aplican a todas las transacciones relacionadas con la transmisión de dinero, incluyendo la aceptación y transmisión de valor que sustituye a la moneda, que incluye MV.
  • Los reglamentos de FinCEN cubren todas las transacciones en las que las partes intercambian fiat y MV convertible, y las transacciones de una MV a otra MV.
  • Las empresas que prestan servicios de anonimización ("mezcladores" o "volteadores") que buscan ocultar el origen de la transmisión de MV, son transmisores de dinero cuando aceptan y transmiten MV convertibles y tienen obligaciones reglamentarias del BSA.
  • Las personas y entidades que aceptan y transmiten moneda física o MV convertible de una persona a otra o a otra ubicación son transmisores de dinero y están sujetas a los requisitos de AML/CFT del BSA.    

Los transmisores de dinero de MV están obligados a:

  1. registrarse con FinCEN como un negocio de servicios de dinero,
  2. desarrollar, implementar y mantener un programa AML diseñado "para evitar que los [“MSB”] se utilicen para facilitar el lavado de dinero y la financiación del terrorismo", y
  3. establecer registros y medidas de informes, incluyendo la presentación de informes de actividades sospechosas (“SAR”) y los informes de transacciones de divisas (CTR) – “Currency Transaction Reports”.  
  • Estos requisitos se aplican por igual a los transmisores de dinero de MV convertibles ubicados en el domestico o en el extranjero, incluso si la entidad localizada en el extranjero no tiene presencia física en los Estados Unidos, siempre que realice negocios en su totalidad o en una parte sustancial dentro de los Estados Unidos.
  • Las instituciones financieras que adoptan una nueva tecnología financiera deben evaluar y comprender si los nuevos productos y servicios financieros pueden hacerlos vulnerables a la explotación de delitos financieros.
  • La nueva tecnología financiera adoptada por las instituciones financieras debe analizarse para determinar el cumplimiento AML/CFT según las regulaciones de FinCEN.
  • Blanco declaró: “Podemos ayudar a responder la pregunta, pero evitar la pregunta por temor a la respuesta no es una estrategia legítima; De hecho, es imprudente" en referencia a las instituciones financieras.

En los esfuerzos de examen y supervisión

  • Los examinadores de FinCEN y BSA en el IRS trabajan para garantizar que los “MSB” de MV entiendan y cumplan con sus obligaciones reglamentarias a través de exámenes de supervisión efectivos.
  • FinCEN y el IRS han examinado más del 30 por ciento de todos los intercambiadores y administradores de MV registrados desde 2014.
  • El objetivo es garantizar que todos los transmisores de dinero de MV se sometan a exámenes de cumplimiento periódicos y de rutina.
  • Los informes de actividades sospechosas (“SAR”) de los intercambios virtuales han aumentado enormemente en los últimos años.
  • Los exámenes han incluido plataformas comerciales de MV, administradores, empresas de quioscos de moneda virtual (o cajeros automáticos), comerciantes de metales cripto-preciosos e intercambiadores individuales de igual a igual (“peer to peer exchangers”).
  • Los exámenes se han centrado en intercambios registrados y no registrados.
  • Se espera el cumplimiento de AML/CFT aunque un negocio funcione como un intercambiador de igual a igual de una moneda virtual, o como una gran plataforma de comercio multinacional que ofrece numerosas monedas virtuales. Blanco declaró: "Y no hay duda de que hemos notado algunas deficiencias de cumplimiento".
  • Todas las instituciones financieras deben implementar programas de “AML” sólidos mucho antes de que reciban la notificación de que se realizará un examen y no después de que reciban la notificación y Blanco declaró: "Esto no constituye un cumplimiento", "el cumplimiento no comienza porque puede quedar atrapado, o porque estás a punto de ser descubierto. Esa no es una cultura que protege nuestra seguridad nacional, nuestro país y nuestras familias. No es una cultura que toleraremos".
  • Las empresas y los individuos serán responsables si ignoran sus obligaciones, ya sea en transferencias bancarias o en criptomonedas.
  • BTC-e (una “MSB” localizada en el extranjero) es un ejemplo del compromiso de FinCEN para perseguir entidades que no tienen controles BSA/ CTF en su lugar como lo demuestra la multa de $ 110 millones que FinCEN emitio contra BTC-e.  La investigación de ejecución de BSA de FinCEN también condujo a la evaluación de una multa civil monetaria de $12 millones contra uno de los administradores de BTC-e, Alexander Vinnik: la mayor multa por responsabilidad individual que FinCEN ha evaluado hasta la fecha.
  • FinCEN está compartiendo experiencias con el Grupo Egmont de la Unidad de Inteligencia Financiera (“FIU”) y otros foros internacionales con MV como área prioritaria.
  • FinCEN ahora recibe más de 1,500 “SARs” por mes que describen actividades sospechosas relacionadas con MV, con informes provenientes de “MSB” y otras instituciones financieras.
  • Las presentaciones de “SAR” desempeñaron un papel fundamental en la investigación del caso BTC-e. Las presentaciones de los bancos y otros tipos de cambio de Moneda Virtual proporcionaron las pistas críticas para la aplicación de la ley; incluyendo información de último beneficiario (“ultimate benefical information”).    
  • FinCEN está en proceso de configurar el "Programa de Intercambio de FinCEN” (“FinCEN Exchange Program”) centrado en MV, con cumplidores de la ley (“law enforcement”) y el sector privado.
  • Blanco declaró que: "FinCEN perseguirá agresivamente a individuos y compañías que no tomen en serio sus obligaciones conforme a la ley de los EE.UU.,  ya sea atacando a las víctimas o permitiendo a quienes sí lo hacen"

No sea una víctima de su propia creación

Las declaraciones de Blanco tienen claro que los EE.UU., el Tesoro de los EE.UU y sus agencias continuarán persiguiendo a aquellos individuos, empresas y "habilitadores" que no sean cumplidores de la MV. Si usted es un inversionista de MV o una empresa dedicada a la MV, consulte a su especialista en impuestos para asegurarse de que cumple con todos los requisitos de cumplimiento normativo.  

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