Welcome!

.NET Authors: Srinivasan Sundara Rajan, Adine Deford, David Fletcher, Pat Romanski, Suresh Sambandam

News Feed Item

Surge in Government Investigations Shows Money Laundering on the Increase; More Scrutiny of Overseas Accounts Means Additional Compliance Pressures

Not Just Financial Institutions but Casinos and "Hard Goods" Dealers Must Monitor and Report; Even Insurance and Real Estate Are Under Government Scrutiny, Warns Marks Paneth Advisor

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.

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

@ThingsExpo Stories
The BPM world is going through some evolution or changes where traditional business process management solutions really have nowhere to go in terms of development of the road map. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Kyle Hansen, Director of Professional Services at AgilePoint, shows AgilePoint’s unique approach to dealing with this market circumstance by developing a rapid application composition or development framework.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada. Our partner network encompasses some 300 of the world's leading systems integrators and security s...

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...

“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa, at more than US$500 billion, and ranks 23rd in the world. A recent re-evaluation of Nigeria's true economic size doubled the previous estimate, and brought it well ahead of South Africa, which is a member (unlike Nigeria) of the G20 club for political as well as economic reasons. Nigeria's economy can be said to be quite diverse from one point of view, but heavily dependent on oil and gas at the same time. Oil and natural gas account for about 15% of Nigera's overall economy, but traditionally represent more than 90% of the country's exports and as...
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
"At our booth we are showing how to provide trust in the Internet of Things. Trust is where everything starts to become secure and trustworthy. Now with the scaling of the Internet of Things it becomes an interesting question – I've heard numbers from 200 billion devices next year up to a trillion in the next 10 to 15 years," explained Johannes Lintzen, Vice President of Sales at Utimaco, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"For over 25 years we have been working with a lot of enterprise customers and we have seen how companies create applications. And now that we have moved to cloud computing, mobile, social and the Internet of Things, we see that the market needs a new way of creating applications," stated Jesse Shiah, CEO, President and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the industry’s first all flash version of HyperConverged Appliances that include both compute and storag...
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
Code Halos - aka "digital fingerprints" - are the key organizing principle to understand a) how dumb things become smart and b) how to monetize this dynamic. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Brown, AVP, Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant Technology Solutions, outlined research, analysis and recommendations from his recently published book on this phenomena on the way leading edge organizations like GE and Disney are unlocking the Internet of Things opportunity and what steps your organization should be taking to position itself for the next platform of digital competition.
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP's Printing and Personal Systems Group, discussed how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, sensors, social, and ...