FinCEN Expands Geographic Targeting Orders

August Geographic Targeting Orders Cover Funds Transfers and Hawaii Luxury Residential Real Estate   On August 22, 2017, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued revised Geographic Targeting Orders (GTOs) designed to combat money laundering and related financial crimes in select U.S. residential real estate markets. The GTOs further expand the scope of GTOs issued in January 2016, expanded in July 2016, and renewed in February 2017. In tandem with the August GTOs, FinCEN issued an Advisory to Financial Institutions and Real Estate Firms and Professionals (the “Advisory”) and FAQs. This Business Update outlines the key provisions of the August GTO. For information about this Business Update or MassPoint’s related… Read More

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World Bank Accountability Act of 2017

World Bank Accountability Act of 2017 Would Condition Certain U.S. Appropriations on World Bank’s Anti-Corruption and Counter-Violent Extremism Performance and Authorize Trump Administration’s Request to Reduce Funding to IDA  On July 25, 2017, the House Financial Services Committee will meet to markup H.R. 3326, the “World Bank Accountability Act of 2017.” H.R. 3326 was introduced in the House on July 20, 2017 by Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY), who is a member of the House Financial Services Committee. To date, the bill has no co-sponsors. The stated purpose of the World Bank Accountability Act of 2017 is to “increase accountability, combat corruption, and strengthen management effectiveness at the World Bank.” Among other… Read More

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Congressional Hearing on Terrorism Financing Probes Bank Secrecy Act Data Effectiveness, Potential BSA Amendments

Congressional Hearing on Terrorism Finance Probes Bank Secrecy Act Data Processing Effectiveness, Lack of Beneficial Ownership Transparency, and Potential BSA and Patriot Act Amendments Business Update |  April 28, 2017 | Author: Hdeel Abdelhady | Download Full Update On April 27, 2017, I attended a Congressional hearing on “Safeguarding the Financial System from Terrorist Financing,” held by the House Committee on Financial Services’ Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance (the “Subcommittee”). The sole witness was Mr. Jamal El-Hindi, Acting Director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury charged with protecting the financial system from money laundering, terrorism financing and other illicit activities.… Read More Continue Reading

Money Laundering and Lawyers’ Obligations After the Panama Papers

Event: Has the Legal Profession Lost its Moral Compass? The Panama Papers, Lawyers’ Professional Ethics and Due Diligence Obligations As Co-Chair of the Middle East Committee of the American Bar Association Section of International Law, MassPoint's Hdeel Abdelhady organized and will moderate a program on lawyers' obligations to detect and report illicit client activity, in particular money laundering. Lawyers in the EU, for example, have been required for years to perform client due diligence and file suspicious activity reports (SARs) in accordance EU anti-money laundering directives. U.S. lawyers have no parallel obligations; however, U.S. lawyers are prohibited by rules of professional conduct from knowingly allowing their services to be used for… Read More Continue Reading