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Mauritanian added to SDGT list

OFAC has added a Mauritanian, Salack Ould Cheikh Mohamedou, to its SDN list as a specially designated global terrorist.


Prohibition orders against two formerly with Regions Bank

The Federal Reserve Board has announced it has issued a notice of prohibition against two institution-affiliated parties of Regions Bank, Birmingham, Alabama. The individuals, who held senior positions at Regions Equipment Finance Corporation (REFCO), a Regions Bank subsidiary, were recently indicted for bank bribery, wire fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy. According to the indictment, they conspired to defraud Regions and REFCO by directing REFCO to purchase insurance policies from a shell company that paid kickbacks to them. The indictment further alleges that they attempted to conceal those kickbacks by establishing additional shell companies to receive the kickbacks.


OFAC adds Ukraine-related SDN and SSI entries

OFAC has announced its designation of seven individuals and eight entities under two Executive Orders related to Russia and Ukraine, and identified two vessels as blocked property. In addition, the names of twenty-six entities identified as subsidiaries of the Russian Agricultural Bank and Novatek were added to the Sectoral Sanctions Identification (SSI) list. See our December 20, 2017, OFAC Update for the details.


Fed Board adopts new TLAC rule for GSIBs

The Federal Reserve Board has announced its adoption of a a final rule to strengthen the ability of government authorities to resolve in an orderly way the largest domestic and foreign banks operating in the United States without any support from taxpayer-provided capital. These institutions will be required to meet a new long-term debt requirement and a new "total loss-absorbing capacity" (TLAC) requirement. The final rule applies to domestic firms identified by the Board as global systemically important banks (GSIBs) and to the U.S. operations of foreign GSIBs. The final rule also will require the parent holding company of a domestic GSIB to avoid entering into certain financial arrangements that would create obstacles to an orderly resolution. These "clean holding company" requirements will include bans on issuance of short-term debt to external investors and on entering into derivatives and certain other types of financial contracts with external counterparties. Board Chair Yellen and FDIC Chairman Gruenberg issued statements on the final rule.


Closed credit union gets $500K AML penalty

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has announced its assessment of a $500,000 civil money penalty against Bethex Federal Credit Union, Bronx, New York, for significant violations of anti-money laundering (AML) regulations. Bethex was liquidated by the NCUA in 2015 as insolvent with no prospects of returning to viability. FinCEN's assessment is a claim against any assets remaining after the completion of the liquidation process. In 2011, Bethex took on a lot of new business with money services businesses without revising its AML program to handle the additional business and the change in customer activity it entailed. As a result, it failed to detect and report significant volumes of suspicious activity, and when it was forced to file late SARs on that activity, the SARs were inadequately completed. For further information, see our Penalty page for this FinCEN action.


FinCEN hosts AML/CFT international forum

FinCEN has announced that it hosted last week the third annual International Supervisors Forum (ISF). The ISF was established in 2013 by similar government regulatory agencies from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand to address issues pertaining to anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) and other financial crimes, as well as strengthen domestic and international compliance and supervisory regimes.


Treasury sanctions ISIL support links

The U.S. Department of the Treasury has announced action taken to disrupt ISIL’s financial facilitation network by designating as global terrorists the Iraq-based Selselat al Thahab Money Exchange, ISIL financier Fawaz Muhammad Jubayr al-Rawi, and his company, the Hanifa Currency Exchange in Albu Kamal, Syria. Al-Rawi and the two money services businesses have played an important role in ISIL’s financial operations by helping the terrorist group move its funds. As a result of the action, all property and interests in property of Selselat al Thahab, al-Rawi, and the Hanifa Exchange’s branch in Albu Kamal subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them. For additional information see our OFAC Update.


OFAC designates Congolese officials

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has sanctioned two Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) government officials as the Government of the DRC continues to suppress political opposition and delay political progress in the country, often through violent means. As a result of OFAC’s actions, all of the designated individuals’ assets within U.S. jurisdiction are frozen, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them. For additional information, see our OFAC Update.


OFAC issues Kingpin Act/Honduras-related general license

OFAC has published a General License authorizing certain transactions and activities to liquidate and wind down Banco Continental, S.A. Those transactions and activities would otherwise be prohibited under the Kingpin Act. Banco Continental, S.A. was sanctioned in October 2015. See our OFAC Update for addition information.


Switzerland gets good FATF report

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has released its 2016 mutual evaluation report of Switzerland’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) system. The report indicates overall, Switzerland’s AML/CFT regime is technically robust and has achieved good results. It would still benefit from some improvements in order to be fully effective. The full report (241 pages) and an executive summary (11 pages) are available.


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