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07/13/2020

FATF Business Bulletin issued

The latest edition of the FATF Business Bulletin provides a summary of the decisions taken during the June 2020 Virtual Plenary and presents the objectives of the new FATF President, Marcus Pleyer, for the first two-year Plenary period.

07/10/2020

Chinese entity and officials sanctioned

The Treasury Department has announced that OFAC has sanctioned one Chinese government entity and four current or former government officials in connection with serious rights abuses against ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). The entity and officials are being designated for their connection to serious human rights abuse against ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, which reportedly include mass arbitrary detention and severe physical abuse, among other serious abuses targeting Uyghurs, a Turkic Muslim population indigenous to Xinjiang, and other ethnic minorities in the region. These designations are the latest U.S. government actions in an ongoing effort to deter human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region.

For identification of the designated entity and individuals, see BankersOnline's OFAC Update.

07/09/2020

Amazon settles with OFAC

OFAC has announced a $134,523 settlement with Amazon.co​m, Inc. to settle Amazon's potential civil liability for apparent violations of multiple OFAC sanctions programs.

As a result of deficiencies related to Amazon’s sanctions screening processes, Amazon provided goods and services to persons sanctioned by OFAC; to persons located in the sanctioned region or countries of Crimea, Iran, and Syria; and to individuals located in or employed by the foreign missions of countries sanctioned by OFAC. Amazon also failed to timely report several hundred transactions conducted pursuant to a general license issued by OFAC that included a mandatory reporting requirement, thereby nullifying that authorization with respect to those transactions. The settlement amount reflects OFAC’s determination that Amazon’s apparent violations were non-egregious and voluntarily self-disclosed, and further reflects the significant remedial measures implemented by Amazon upon discovery of the apparent violations.​​

07/08/2020

FATF report on stablecoins

At the request of the G20, the FATF has issued a "Report on So-Called Stablecoins" that sets out the FATF’s views on stablecoins and addresses:

  • the characteristics of stablecoins
  • the money laundering and terrorist financing risks of stablecoins
  • how the FATF Standards apply to stablecoins and the different businesses involved in the stablecoin; and
  • how the FATF plans to enhance the global anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing framework for virtual assets and stablecoins.

07/08/2020

FinCEN COVID-19 scams advisory

FinCEN has issued Advisory FIN-2020-A003 to alert financial institutions to potential indicators of imposter scams and money mule schemes, which are two forms of consumer fraud observed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The advisory contains descriptions of these scams and schemes, financial red flag indicators for both, and information on reporting suspicious activity.

07/03/2020

Tribes get $15M to address COVID-19

HUD yesterday awarded $15 million to tribes in Alaska, Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Utah as part of HUD's Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) Imminent Threat program, which provides funding to help address problems that pose an imminent threat to public health or safety of tribal residents. This funding will specifically be used to help tribes prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19. This initial distribution is the first $15 million of $100 million that will be going to tribes.

07/03/2020

Don't forget to file blocked property report

OFAC has posted a reminder to file the 2020 Annual Report of Blocked Property (ARBP).

The Reporting, Procedures and Penalties Regulations (RPPR) require holders of blocked property to provide OFAC with a comprehensive list of all blocked property held as of June 30 of the current year by September 30 (no report is required if no blocked property is held on June 30).

The term "blocked property" only applies to property that is blocked under OFAC regulations. Property that was unblocked by an OFAC general or specific license or was previously blocked pursuant to a sanctions program that was terminated on or before June 30, 2020, is not considered blocked property, and should not be reported in the ARBP. Similarly, a restricted account of a person ordinarily resident in Iran is not blocked, and should not be reported to OFAC in the ARBP, unless there is an interest in the account of a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to an applicable sanctions authority.

Failure to submit a required ARBP by September 30 constitutes a violation of the RPPR. For more information see OFAC's Guidance on Filing the Annual Report of Blocked Property.

07/01/2020

NCUA issues prohibition order

The NCUA reports that it issued one prohibition order in June.

A former employee of Midwest Carpenters & Millwrights Federal Credit Union, Hobart, Indiana, found to have misapplied funds totaling approximately $1.5 M, consented to the issuance of a prohibition order and agreed to comply with all its terms to settle and resolve the NCUA Board’s claim against him.

07/01/2020

FATF 31st Plenary Meeting

The Treasury Department has reported that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) concluded its 31st plenary meeting by calling on its members to tackle new threats and vulnerabilities posed by criminals during the COVID-19 crisis. The FATF also completed a 12-month review of progress made by jurisdictions on implementing the new FATF standards on virtual assets adopted during the U.S. presidency of the FATF. The international task force further agreed upon draft text, on which it will seek public consultation, revising its standards to incorporate measures to counter proliferation financing, and adopted a groundbreaking report on money laundering and illegal wildlife trafficking.

07/01/2020

FDIC releases list of May enforcement orders

The FDIC has released a list of enforcement decisions and orders issued in May 2020.

  • The former president, CEO and chairman of a Virginia bank was assessed a $15,000 civil money penalty for reckless unsafe and unsound practices and breaches of fiduciary duty.
  • A former teller at a Washington bank was issued an order of prohibition after a finding that she had embezzled over $49,000 and falsified bank records.
  • A former teller at a South Carolina bank received an order of prohibition after a finding that she had caused unauthorized ATM access cards to be issued on bank customer accounts without those customers' knowledge, and, alone or with others, used the cards to complete unauthorized withdrawals of more than $60,000 from those accounts.

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