|By Marketwired .||
|July 21, 2014 10:45 AM EDT||
NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwired) -- 07/21/14 -- A recent surge in government investigations shows that many businesses -- including not just financial institutions but also casinos and dealers in "hard goods" such as jewelry, automobiles, boats and airplanes -- need to make sure they have money-laundering monitoring and compliance programs fully in place. Even the insurance and real estate industries are being looked at for money laundering, warns New York-based accounting firm Marks Paneth LLP.
Those organizations that fail to develop compliance programs might find themselves facing sanctions for violations of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), Anti-Money Laundering (AML) policies and procedures, and regulatory requirements. Not only organizations but also individual executives and directors can face penalties for noncompliance
Cash-intensive businesses as well as financial institutions are at risk if they fail to comply with the government's complex web of anti-money laundering regulations. And scrutiny of overseas accounts is on the increase. The US Treasury Department's recent intergovernmental initiatives to implement information reporting and withholding tax provisions of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) indicates that foreign financial institutions -- including those in jurisdictions that have been money-laundering havens -- may need to disclose more information to US Regulators.
"The regulations say that financial institutions such as banks, credit card companies and investment brokers must monitor and report transactions -- and the provisions apply to other businesses as well," says Sareena M. Sawhney, director in the Litigation and Corporate Financial Advisory Services Group of Marks Paneth.
"Businesses need to find out if the anti-money laundering regulations apply to them," Ms. Sawhney says. "If the answer is 'yes,' then they need to make sure they comply. Compliance means not just following the rules but also having your own written policies in place, and documenting the steps you take to track and monitor transactions."
"Casinos and hard-goods dealers are under scrutiny," Ms. Sawhney adds. "So are certain industries such as insurance and real estate. This is because of specific tactics that money launderers have been using, such as overfunding an insurance policy in order to receive a disbursement check upon withdrawal."
According to Ms. Sawhney:
- Scrutiny -- and enforcement -- are on the increase. Money laundering is an enormous regulatory concern, not only because of conventional criminal activity but also because known terrorist organizations use money-laundering techniques to move funds across borders. The USA PATRIOT Act, put in place after the attacks of September 11, 2001, strengthened several provisions of the existing Bank Secrecy Act. Penalties are increasingly severe. Just recently, The Las Vegas Sands Corp. agreed to pay $47 million to the government for failing to report suspicious customer transactions.
- Businesses must master many requirements and work with many agencies. A complex web of regulations and agencies govern money laundering. In addition to the Bank Secrecy Act and the USA Patriot Act, the US Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service also track overseas transactions for compliance with FATCA The US Securities and Exchange Commission enforces the Investment Advisors Act, which includes a broad 'compliance rule' that requires advisors to have written policies and procedures in place to prevent securities law violations -- including money laundering.
- Compliance means not just following the rules, but also documenting that you did. Requirements are complex and sometimes overlap, but in general, they involve reporting large cash transactions and verifying the identities of people who make them. The key to compliance is to establish written policies and procedures that meet the requirements, then document the steps taken to ensure that transactions are correctly monitored and reported. All are subject to audit. Organizations can be sanctioned not only for allowing money laundering to take place, but also for failing to take the right steps, or document that they did.
- Individuals can be sanctioned as well as businesses. In a case against OMNI Investment Advisors, the SEC charged the chief compliance officer, who the agency said failed to establish compliance programs even after the agency notified the firm about deficiencies. Business owners, compliance executives and other senior executives with oversight responsibilities, as well as directors can suffer penalties if there are compliance failures - or even if policies and procedures are found to be insufficient.
- Businesses need to find out if they must comply -- and with which regulations -- and then take steps to make sure they are in compliance. The first step should be a consultation with a compliance expert to establish the scope of compliance requirements. Businesses must then take all necessary steps to ensure compliance -- including the development of written policies and procedures, the creation of reporting mechanisms, other internal controls, and staff training to make sure that all requirements are met and that the organization can withstand regulatory scrutiny. An independent review of policies and procedures can help ensure they meet the requirements.
"Anti-money laundering compliance is difficult -- but with enforcement on the increase, at-risk businesses cannot afford anything less than strict compliance," Ms. Sawhney says. "Any cash-intensive business needs to understand its compliance responsibilities and hold itself to the highest standards."
Ms. Sawhney is available for interviews and can author a bylined article. For more information, contact Katarina Wenk-Bodenmiller of Sommerfield Communications at (212) 255-8386 or [email protected].
About Marks Paneth LLP
Marks Paneth LLP is an accounting firm with over 500 people, of whom approximately 65 are partners and principals. The firm provides public and private businesses with a full range of auditing, accounting, tax, consulting, bankruptcy and restructuring services as well as litigation and corporate financial advisory services to domestic and international clients. The firm also specializes in providing tax advisory and consulting for high-net-worth individuals and their families, as well as a wide range of services for international, real estate, media, entertainment, nonprofit, professional and financial services, and energy clients. The firm has a strong track record supporting emerging growth companies, entrepreneurs, business owners and investors as they navigate the business life cycle.
The firm's subsidiary, Tailored Technologies, LLC, provides information technology consulting services. In addition, its membership in Morison International, a leading international association for independent business advisers, financial consulting and accounting firms, facilitates service delivery to clients throughout the United States and around the world. Marks Paneth LLP, whose origins date back to 1907, is the 33rd largest accounting firm in the nation and the 10th largest in the Mid-Atlantic region. In addition, readers of the New York Law Journal rank MP&S as one of the area's top forensic accounting firms for the fourth year in a row.
Its headquarters are in Manhattan. Additional offices are in Westchester, Long Island and the Cayman Islands. For more information, please visit www.markspaneth.com.
Sommerfield Communication, Inc.
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
Feb. 8, 2016 08:00 PM EST Reads: 128
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
Feb. 8, 2016 03:00 PM EST Reads: 572
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
Feb. 8, 2016 03:00 PM EST
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
Feb. 8, 2016 02:00 PM EST Reads: 373
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
Feb. 8, 2016 12:45 PM EST Reads: 355
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
Feb. 8, 2016 12:30 PM EST Reads: 138
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
Feb. 8, 2016 10:45 AM EST Reads: 382
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
Feb. 8, 2016 09:30 AM EST Reads: 153
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...
Feb. 7, 2016 12:00 PM EST Reads: 352
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including clou...
Feb. 6, 2016 03:30 PM EST Reads: 736
Most people haven’t heard the word, “gamification,” even though they probably, and perhaps unwittingly, participate in it every day. Gamification is “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation.” Further, gamification is about bringing game mechanics – rules, constructs, processes, and methods – into the real world in an effort to engage people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Endo, owner and engagement manager of Intrepid D...
Feb. 5, 2016 09:00 PM EST Reads: 795
Eighty percent of a data scientist’s time is spent gathering and cleaning up data, and 80% of all data is unstructured and almost never analyzed. Cognitive computing, in combination with Big Data, is changing the equation by creating data reservoirs and using natural language processing to enable analysis of unstructured data sources. This is impacting every aspect of the analytics profession from how data is mined (and by whom) to how it is delivered. This is not some futuristic vision: it's ha...
Feb. 2, 2016 02:00 PM EST Reads: 417
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Feb. 2, 2016 04:30 AM EST Reads: 859
Learn how IoT, cloud, social networks and last but not least, humans, can be integrated into a seamless integration of cooperative organisms both cybernetic and biological. This has been enabled by recent advances in IoT device capabilities, messaging frameworks, presence and collaboration services, where devices can share information and make independent and human assisted decisions based upon social status from other entities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Heydt, founder of Seamless...
Feb. 1, 2016 05:00 AM EST Reads: 950
The IoT's basic concept of collecting data from as many sources possible to drive better decision making, create process innovation and realize additional revenue has been in use at large enterprises with deep pockets for decades. So what has changed? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Prasanna Sivaramakrishnan, Solutions Architect at Red Hat, discussed the impact commodity hardware, ubiquitous connectivity, and innovations in open source software are having on the connected universe of people, thi...
Jan. 31, 2016 09:00 PM EST Reads: 734
WebRTC: together these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Cary Bran, VP of Innovation and New Ventures at Plantronics and PLT Labs, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it may enable, complement or entirely transform.
Jan. 31, 2016 07:15 PM EST Reads: 1,155
There are so many tools and techniques for data analytics that even for a data scientist the choices, possible systems, and even the types of data can be daunting. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Harrold, Global CTO for Big Data Solutions for EMC Corporation, showed how to perform a simple, but meaningful analysis of social sentiment data using freely available tools that take only minutes to download and install. Participants received the download information, scripts, and complete end-t...
Jan. 31, 2016 10:00 AM EST Reads: 1,229
For manufacturers, the Internet of Things (IoT) represents a jumping-off point for innovation, jobs, and revenue creation. But to adequately seize the opportunity, manufacturers must design devices that are interconnected, can continually sense their environment and process huge amounts of data. As a first step, manufacturers must embrace a new product development ecosystem in order to support these products.
Jan. 31, 2016 10:00 AM EST Reads: 819
Manufacturing connected IoT versions of traditional products requires more than multiple deep technology skills. It also requires a shift in mindset, to realize that connected, sensor-enabled “things” act more like services than what we usually think of as products. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David Friedman, CEO and co-founder of Ayla Networks, discussed how when sensors start generating detailed real-world data about products and how they’re being used, smart manufacturers can use the dat...
Jan. 30, 2016 07:45 PM EST Reads: 796
When it comes to IoT in the enterprise, namely the commercial building and hospitality markets, a benefit not getting the attention it deserves is energy efficiency, and IoT’s direct impact on a cleaner, greener environment when installed in smart buildings. Until now clean technology was offered piecemeal and led with point solutions that require significant systems integration to orchestrate and deploy. There didn't exist a 'top down' approach that can manage and monitor the way a Smart Buildi...
Jan. 30, 2016 03:45 PM EST Reads: 1,279