Anti-Money Laundering Attorney | AML Compliance | AML Investigation Audits | AML Employee Training 2019-03-13T21:35:40-07:00

Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Attorney

AML Policies | AML Independent Audits | AML Compliance  | SAR & CTR Reporting| Employee Training
Full Service AML Anti Money Laundering Legal Representation

Anti-Money Laundering laws and compliance obligations are comprised of a complex series of rules and requirements imposed by multiple sources of federal law by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, U.S. Department of Treasury, and state and federal law enforcement agencies.  Axis Legal Counsel represents all types of businesses with AML (anti-money laundering) compliance matters.Our services range from assisting clients implement AML policies, establishing AML compliance programs, employee/staff training, AML compliance officer training, SAR and CTR reports, employee AML manuals, and counseling clients with respect to their obligations under the various federal banking and compliance laws and regulations.

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► Our Anti-Money Laundering & Banking Practice Areas   

  • Anti-Money Laundering Policies and Procedures
  • AML Compliance Program
  • AML Employee / Staff Training
  • AML Investigation Audits
  • Banking Law Compliance
  • AML Compliance Officer Training
  • SAR Report Filing
  • CTR Report Filing
  • Money Services Business Law
  • OFAC Compliance

► Who We Represent   

  • Small businesses
  • Startups
  • Established businesses
  • Corporations, S Corps, and LLCs

► Industries We Serve   

  • Financial Advisors
  • Mortgage Brokers
  • Wealth managers
  • Loan brokers
  • Money Service Businesses
  • Check Cashing Businesses
  • Currency Exchanges
  • Precious Metals Retailers
  • Jewelry Retailers
  • + Numerous others

Overview of  Anti-Money Laundering Compliance 

Federal law requires all businesses that are considered “money services businesses” to follow federal laws and regulations that aid in law enforcement’s ability to detect and prosecute money launderers and terrorism financing. All money services businesses must comply with the Bank Secrecy Act and its regulations, including the Anti-Money Laundering rules, that are put into effect by the Department of Treasury, so that suspicious activity is detected and reported to law enforcement.

There are no size thresholds for businesses who provide money services. All businesses who provide money services are obligated to follow the laws and establish written compliance programs.

What Types of Businesses Are Subject to Federal Regulation?

If your business is in any one of the following areas, it is obligated to follow all the laws and regulations concerning AML policies:

Further, if your business opens and/or maintains any type of the following accounts, it is obligated to comply:

  • Deposit accounts;
  • Transaction or asset accounts ;
  •  Credit accounts, or any other extension of credit;
  •  Safety deposit box or other safekeeping services;
  • Cash management, custodian, and trust services; or
  •  Any other type of formal, ongoing banking relationship.

Are there Exemptions?

MSBs cannot exempt their customers from CTR filing requirements like banks can, and banks may not exempt MSB customers from CTR filing, unless the “50 Percent Rule” applies. The “50 Percent Rule” states that if a MSB derives less than 50 percent of its gross cash revenues from money service activities, then it can be exempted. If the bank exempts a MSB customer under the “50 Percent Rule,” it should have documentation evidencing the types of business conducted, receipt volume, and estimations of MSB versus non-MSB activity.

What Laws Govern Money Service Businesses?

All businesses that receive money transfers are required to comply with anti-money laundering laws and regulations.

Bank Secrecy Act

The Bank Secrecy Act requires  U.S.  financial  institutions  to  assist  U.S.  government  agencies  to  detect  and  prevent  money laundering. Specifically, the act requires financial institutions to keep records of cash purchases of negotiable instruments,  file  reports  of  cash  transactions  exceeding  $10,000  (daily  aggregate  amount),  and  to  report suspicious activity that might signify money laundering, tax evasion, or other criminal activities. It was passed by the Congress of the United States in 1970. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau within Treasury, has regulatory responsibilities for administering the BSA.

US Patriot Act

Title  III  of  the  USA  PATRIOT  Act  is  intended  to  facilitate  the  prevention,  detection  and  prosecution  of international money laundering and the financing of terrorism. The title’s sections primarily amend portions of the Money Laundering Control Act of 1986 and the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970.

The provisions of Title III are divided into three subtitles. The first deals primarily with strengthening banking rules  specifically  against  money  laundering,  especially on  the  international  stage. Communication  between law enforcement agencies and financial institutions, as well as among institutions, is expanded by the second subtitle, which also increases record keeping and reporting requirements. The final portion of the title deals with  currency  smuggling  and  counterfeiting,  including  quadrupling  the  maximum  penalty  for  counterfeiting foreign currency.

Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act

This act required the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to issue new rules to protect consumers who  send money electronically to foreign countries. All money transmitters, as well as any banks, thrifts or credit unions offering international remittance transfers in the normal course of business must comply with the new rules.  The rules impact all remittance transfers that are made by a consumer in the United States, and sent to a foreign country. The act was signed into law on July 21, 2010

Gramm-Leach Bliley Act 

This  act  prompted  the  Federal  Trade  Commission  (FTC)  to  issue  a  final  Safeguards  Rule  to  establish standards relating to administrative, technical and physical information safeguards for financial institutions to ensure the security and confidentiality of consumer records and information, protect against any anticipated threats or hazards to the security or integrity of such records, and protect against unauthorized access to or use of such records or information that could result in substantial harm or inconvenience to any consumer.

Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)

OFAC is part of the U.S. Department of the Treasury and is responsible for enforcing U.S. government sanctions programs against countries, organizations and individuals. Sanctions programs typically involve blocking assets to further national security. Many of the sanctioned individuals, commonly referred to as Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs), are known or suspected drug dealers and terrorists. All U.S. entities are prohibited from conducting any financial transactions with SDNs even if transactions with the SDN originate or terminate outside of the United States. You can learn more about OFAC by visiting the Treasury Department’s website at: www.ustreas.gov/offices/enforcement/ofac.

Interpretative Authority

In addition, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), along with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Office of Thrift Supervision are authorized to issue interpretative guidance.

What Must a Business do to Comply?

There are a variety of laws and regulations that businesses must follow, depending on the exact nature of their service, and some of them are as follows:

  • Register as a money service business within 6 months after the business begins operation
  • Renew its registration ever 2 years
  • Establish a AML Compliance Program
  • Adopt written AML policies and procedures
  • Designate an AML Compliance Officer
  • Appoint a independent AML investigative auditor
  • Provide and participate in the ongoing monitoring of transactions
  • Provide training to employees and staff
  • Maintain proper records retention according to the legal requirements
  • Stay abreast of federal laws and regulations and update all policies and procedures when laws change
  • Detect and identify suspicious activity and transactions that trigger reporting obligations
  • File the necessary reports with the governmental agencies when triggering transactions take place
  • Aid law enforcement in the manner required
  • Register customer accounts in compliance with OFAC regulations including individuals named on the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN list), which includes names of companies and individuals who are connected with the sanctions targets.

What is an AML Compliance Program?

An AML Compliance Program that is compliant with the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) consists of a company’s policies and procedures that demonstrate that it is compliant with federal AML laws. An AML Compliance Program is necessary because it is the businesses obligation to show affirmatively that it is in compliance with federal AML laws.

The governmental agencies that enforce AML laws require all money service businesses to have enacted and be following AML compliance programs and if the business is found to be lacking in any of these areas, the business and the business owners are subject to administrative and/or criminal prosecution.

The BSA compliance program must be in writing and approved by the management of the business,  with approval noted in the Board minutes. Best practices dictate that Board should review and approve the policy annually. In addition, financial institutions are required to develop and implement a Customer Identification Program as part of their overall BSA compliance program.

The Program must accomplish the following:

Identify reportable transactions at a point where all of the information necessary to properly complete the required reporting forms can be obtained. The financial institution might accomplish this by sufficiently training tellers and personnel in other departments or by referring large currency transactions to a designated individual or department. If all pertinent information cannot be obtained from the customer, the financial institution should consider declining the transaction.

  1. Monitor, identify, and report possible money laundering or unusual and suspicious activity. Procedures should provide that high-risk accounts, services, and transactions are regularly reviewed for suspicious activity.
  2. Ensure that all required reports are completed accurately and properly filed within required timeframes. Financial institutions should consider centralizing the review and report filing functions within the banking organization. d. Ensure that customer exemptions are properly granted, recorded, and reviewed as appropriate, including biennial renewals of “Phase II” exemptions. Exempt accounts must be reviewed at least annually to ensure that the exemptions are still valid and to determine if any suspicious or unusual activity is occurring in the account. The BSA compliance officer should review and initial all exemptions prior to granting and renewing them.
  3. Ensure that all information sharing requests issued under Section 314(a) of the USA PATRIOT Act are checked in accordance with FinCEN guidelines and are fully completed within mandated time constraints.
  4. Ensure that guidelines are established for the optional providing and sharing of information in accordance with 314(b) of the USA PATRIOT Act and the written employment verification regulations (as specified in Section 355 of the USA PATRIOT Act).
  5. Ensure that the financial institution’s CIP procedures comply with regulatory requirements.
  6. Ensure that procedures provide for adequate customer due diligence in relation to the risk levels of customers and account types. Adequate monitoring for unusual or suspicious activities cannot be completed without assessing general transaction types, dollar volume, and transaction volume the customer is likely to conduct, thereby providing a means to identify unusual or suspicious transactions for that customer.
  7. Establish procedures for screening accounts and transactions for OFAC compliance that include guidelines for responding to identified matches and reporting those to OFAC.
  8. Provide for adequate due diligence, monitoring, and reporting of private banking activities and foreign correspondent relationships. The level of due diligence and monitoring must be commensurate with the inherent account risk.
  9. Provide for adequate supervision of employees who accept currency transactions, complete reports, grant exemptions, open new customer accounts, or engage in any other activity covered by the Financial Recordkeeping and Reporting of Currency and Foreign Transactions regulations at 31 CFR 103.
  10. Establish dual controls and provide for separation of duties.

What are the Requirements of an AML Compliance Program?

As part of an effective AML compliance program, a business must undertake various activities:

  • The business must determine what rules and regulations apply to the business, depending on what activities they are actually involved in. The rules are different for different types of businesses. For example, different reports must be filed depending on the types of transactions a certain type of business engages in. By obtaining legal counsel, you can help determine which rules, reporting obligations, and laws will apply to your business.
  • The business must make a risk assessment
  • The business must then implement a written AML Compliance Program, including written policies and procedures that demonstrate that the business is aware of its legal obligations and is actively performing them.
  • The business must designate an AML compliance officer, which is responsible for oversight of the AML Compliance Program.
  • The business must provide ongoing oversight of transactions that are subject to reporting obligations
  • The business must train its employees to identify suspicious transactions, as well as transactions that trigger reports, so that the necessary reports can be filed with the appropriate governmental agencies
  • The business must adhere to document retention guidelines that govern how long documentation of all of the above must be retained, in the event questions are raised by governmental regulators

What is Money Laundering?

Money  laundering  is  the  attempt  to  hide  or  disguise  the  nature,  location,  source,  ownership  or  control  of illegally obtained money.

This  definition  covers  a  wide  range  of  activity  and  is  not  limited  to  cash  or  currency  transactions.  Money laundering  can  involve  any  type  of  money,  including  money  orders,  money  transfers  and  other  financial transactions. You need to understand how people launder money so that you can identify and report money laundering and also know how to help prevent it from happening.

Generally, money laundering occurs in three stages. Cash first enters the financial system at the “placement” stage, where the cash generated from criminal activities is converted into monetary instruments, such as money orders or traveler’s checks, or deposited into accounts at financial institutions. At the “layering” stage, the funds are transferred or moved into other accounts or other financial institutions to further separate the money from its criminal origin. At the “integration” stage, the funds are reintroduced into the economy and used to purchase legitimate assets or to fund other criminal activities or legitimate businesses.

What are the 3 Stages of Money Laundering?

The Three Stages of Money Laundering There are three stages in typical money laundering schemes: 1. Placement, 2. Layering, and 3. Integration.

Placement

Placement, the first stage of money laundering, involves the placement of bulk cash into the financial system without the appearance of being connected to a criminal activity. There are many ways cash can be placed into the system. The simplest way is to deposit cash into a financial institution; however, this is also one of the riskier ways to get caught laundering money. To avoid notice, banking transactions involving cash are likely to be conducted in amounts under the CTR reporting thresholds; this activity is referred to as “structuring.” Furthermore, the use of false identities to conduct these transactions is common; banking officers should be vigilant in looking for false identification documents. In an attempt to conceal their activities, money launderers will often resort to “smurfing” activities to get illicit funds into a financial institution. “Smurfing” is the process of using several individuals to deposit illicit cash proceeds into many accounts at one or several financial institutions in a single day. Furthermore, cash can be exchanged for traveler’s checks, food stamps, or other monetary instruments, which can then also be deposited into financial institutions. Placement can also be done by purchasing goods or services, such as a travel/vacation package, insurance policies, jewelry, or other “high-ticket” items. These goods and services can then be returned to the place of purchase in exchange for a refund check, which can then be deposited at a financial institution with less likelihood of detection as being suspicious. Smuggling cash out of a country and depositing that cash into a foreign financial institution is also a form of placement. Illegally-obtained funds can also be funneled into a legitimate business as cash receipts and deposited without detection. This type of activity actually combines placement with the other two stages of money laundering, layering and integration, discussed below.

Layering

The second stage of money laundering is typically layering. This stage is the process of moving and manipulating funds to confuse their sources as well as complicating or partially eliminating the paper trail. Layering may involve moving funds in various forms through multiple accounts at numerous financial institutions, both domestic and international, in a complex series of transactions. Examples of layering transactions include:

  • Transferring funds by check or monetary instrument;
  • Exchanging cashier’s checks and other monetary instruments for other cashier’s checks, larger or smaller, possibly adding additional cash or other monetary instruments in the process;
  • Performing intrabank transfers between accounts owned or controlled by common individuals (for example, telephone transfers);
  • Performing wire transfers to accounts under various customer and business names at other financial institutions;
  • Transferring funds outside and possibly back into the U.S. by various means such as wire transfers, particularly through “secrecy haven” countries;
  • Obtaining certificate of deposit (CD) secured loans and depositing the loan disbursement check into an account (when the loan is defaulted on, there is no loss to the bank); and
  • Depositing a refund check from a canceled vacation package or insurance policy.

Layering transactions may become very complex and involve several of these methods to hide the trail of funds.

Integration

The third stage of money laundering is integration, which typically follows the layering stage. However, as mentioned in the discussion of the placement stage, integration can be accomplished simultaneously with the placement of funds. After the funds have been placed into the financial system and insulated through the layering process, the integration phase is used to create the appearance of legality through additional transactions such as loans, or real estate deals. These transactions provide the criminal with a plausible explanation as to where the funds came from to purchase assets and shield the criminal from any type of recorded connection to the funds.

During the integration stage, the funds are returned in a usable format to the criminal source. This process can be achieved through various schemes, such as:

  • Inflating business receipts,
  • Overvaluing and undervaluing invoices,
  • Creating false invoices and shipping documents,
  • Establishing foreign trust accounts,
  • Establishing a front company or phony charitable organization, and
  • Using gold bullion schemes.

These schemes are just a few examples of the integration stage; the possibilities are not limited.

What is Structuring?

Many money launderers are familiar with the dollar limits that require recordkeeping and reporting. Therefore, in order to remain anonymous and avoid the detection of law enforcement officials, they will “structure” their transactions so that the recordkeeping or reporting requirements will not be triggered. Structuring is the act of breaking up a potentially large transaction into several smaller ones to avoid reporting or recordkeeping requirements.

What is involved with making a Risk Assessment?

In order to properly assess risks, the business should know the categories of money services engaged in by the particular money services business accountholder. In addition, banking organizations should determine whether the money services business is a “principal” (with a fleet of agents) or is itself an agent of another money services business. Other relevant considerations include whether or not the money services business is a new or established operation, and whether or not money services are the customer’s primary or ancillary business (such as a grocery store that derives a small fraction of its overall revenue from cashing checks).

 

Money laundering risks within a money services business can vary widely depending on the locations, customer bases, and markets served by the money services business. Relevant considerations include whether markets served are domestic or international, or whether services are targeted to local residents or broad markets. For example, a convenience store that only cashes payroll checks generally presents lower money laundering risks than a check casher that cashes any type of third-party check or cashes checks for commercial enterprises (which generally involve larger amounts).

What type of Staff Training is Required?

At a minimum, the training program must provide training for all operational personnel whose duties may require knowledge of the BSA. In addition, an overview of the BSA requirements should be given to new employees and efforts should be made to keep executives and directors informed of changes and new developments in BSA regulations. Training should be comprehensive, conducted regularly, and clearly documented. The scope of the training should include:

  • e BSA policies and procedures;
  • Identification of the three stages of money laundering (placement, layering, and integration);
  • “Red flags” to assist in the identification of money laundering;
  • Identification and examples of suspicious transactions;
  • The purpose and importance of strong CIP requirements;
  • Internal procedures for CTR and SAR filings;
  • Procedures for reporting BSA matters, including SAR filings to management;
  • Procedures for conveying any new BSA rules, regulations, or internal policy changes to all appropriate personnel in a timely manner; and
  • OFAC policies and procedures.

What is involved with making a Risk Assessment?

In order to properly assess risks, the business should know the categories of money services engaged in by the particular money services business accountholder. In addition, banking organizations should determine whether the money services business is a “principal” (with a fleet of agents) or is itself an agent of another money services business. Other relevant considerations include whether or not the money services business is a new or established operation, and whether or not money services are the customer’s primary or ancillary business (such as a grocery store that derives a small fraction of its overall revenue from cashing checks).

Money laundering risks within a money services business can vary widely depending on the locations, customer bases, and markets served by the money services business. Relevant considerations include whether markets served are domestic or international, or whether services are targeted to local residents or broad markets. For example, a convenience store that only cashes payroll checks generally presents lower money laundering risks than a check casher that cashes any type of third-party check or cashes checks for commercial enterprises (which generally involve larger amounts).

What is the Role of the AML Compliance Officer?

As part of the Company’s obligations, Company is required to designate an individual as its Anti-Money Laundering Program Compliance Person (AML Compliance Person), with full responsibility for the firm’s AML program. The duties of the AML Compliance Person will include monitoring the firm’s compliance with AML obligations, overseeing communication and training for employees. The AML Compliance Person will also ensure that the firm keeps and maintains all of the required AML records and will ensure that Suspicious Activity Reports (SAR-SFs) are filed with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) when appropriate. The AML Compliance Person is vested with responsibility and authority to enforce the firm’s AML program.

The Compliance Officer’s responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring ongoing compliance with Federal and state specific AML regulations
  • Implementing, reviewing, and updating this AML Compliance Program as necessary due to changes in laws or regulations and ensuring that all affected employees have been advised of these changes
  • Ensuring all employees are trained on AML compliance requirements before conducting transactions
  • Ensuring ongoing AML training is conducted in an effective manner for all appropriate employees
  • Ensuring all training is documented, including the date of the training, name of the trainer/trainee and topics discussed
  • Ensuring accurate record keeping and reporting as mandated by the BSA and state specific regulations
  • Ensuring that the AML Compliance Program is subjected to periodic independent reviews
  • Cooperating with law enforcement on AML reviews, audits and investigations

The Compliance Officer is also authorized to establish procedures to monitor and review all transactions involving money orders and money transfers to better identify those transactions that might be suspicious, high-risk, or otherwise out-of-the ordinary, and may require special record keeping or reporting

What Types of Reports Must be Filed?

Currency Transaction Reports  (CTRs)

The Bank Secrecy Act requires that all money services businesses report any cash transaction that exceeds $10,000 using a Currency Transaction Report (CTR). A CTR is required when a transaction meets certain requirements.

Multiple currency transactions shall be treated as a single transaction if the financial institution has knowledge that the transactions are by, or on behalf of, any person and result in either cash in or cash out totaling more than $10,000 during any one business day. Transactions at all branches of a financial institution should be aggregated when determining reportable multiple transactions.

Funds Transfer Rule Reports

Treasury regulation 31 CFR Section 103.33 prescribes information that must be obtained for funds transfers in the amount of $3,000 or more. There is a detailed discussion of the recordkeeping requirements and risks associated with wire transfers within the “Banking Services and Activities with Greater Potential for Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Vulnerabilities” discussion within this chapter.

Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs)

Among the suspicious activities required to be reported are any transactions aggregating $5,000 or more that involve potential money laundering, suspected terrorist financing activities, or violations of the BSA. However, if a financial institution insider is involved in the suspicious transaction(s), a SAR must be filed at any transaction amount. Other suspected criminal activity requires filing a SAR if the transactions aggregate $5,000 or more and a suspect can be identified. If the financial institution is unable to identify a suspect, but believes it was an actual or potential victim of a criminal violation, then a SAR must be filed for transactions aggregating $25,000 or more. Although these are the required transaction levels for filing a SAR, a financial institution may voluntarily file a SAR for suspicious transactions below these thresholds. SAR filings are not used for reporting robberies to local law enforcement, or for lost, counterfeit, or stolen securities that are reported pursuant to 17 CFR 240.17f-1. If the suspicious transaction involves currency and exceeds $10,000, the financial institution will also need to file a CTR in addition to a SAR.

Often, individuals involved in suspicious activity will use a combination of several types of unusual transactions in an attempt to confuse or mislead anyone attempting to identify the true nature of their activities. Structuring is the most common suspicious activity reported to FinCEN. Structuring is defined as breaking down a sum of currency that exceeds the $10,000 CTR reporting level per the regulation, into a series of transactions at or less than $10,000. The transactions do not need to occur on any single day in order to constitute structuring. Money launderers have developed many ways to structure large amounts of cash to evade the CTR reporting requirements. Examiners should be alert to multiple cash transactions that exceed $10,000, but may involve other monetary instruments, bank official checks, travelers’ checks, savings bonds, loans and loan payments, or even securities transactions as the offsetting entry. The transactions could also involve the exchange of small bank notes for large ones, but in amounts less than $10,000. Structuring of cash transactions to evade CTR filing requirements is often the easiest of suspicious activities to identify. It is subject to criminal and civil violations of the BSA regulations as implemented within 31 CFR 130.63. This regulation states that any person who structures or assists in structuring a currency transaction at a financial institution for the purpose of evading CTR reporting, or causes or attempts to cause a financial institution to fail to file a CTR, or causes the financial institution to file a CTR that contains a material omission or misstatement of fact, is subject to the criminal and civil violations of the BSA regulations. Financial institutions are required by the BSA to have monitoring procedures in place to identify structured transactions.

Reports of Foreign Bank Accounts

The Treasury department requires each person who has a financial interest in or signature authority, or other authority over any financial accounts, including bank, securities, or other types of financial accounts, maintained in a foreign country to report those relationships to the IRS annually if the aggregate value of the accounts exceeds $10,000 at any point during the calendar year. A foreign country includes all locations outside the United States, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, and Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. U.S. military banking facilities are excluded. Foreign assets including securities issued by foreign corporations that are held directly by a U.S. person, or through an account maintained with a U.S. office of a bank or other institution are not subject to the BSA foreign account reporting requirements.

Where Is More Official Information / Guidance Available?

To obtain official guidance on these topics, please consult the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council’s summary of BSA regulations, located here: https://www.ffiec.gov/bsa_aml_infobase/documents/fdic_docs/bsa_manual.pdf.

Who Enforces Anti Money Laundering Laws

FinCEN is the administrator of the BSA and has the authority to assess CMPs against any domestic financial institution, including any insured U.S. branch of a foreign bank, and any partner, director, officer, or employee of a domestic financial institution for violations of the BSA and implementing regulations. Criminal prosecution is also authorized, when warranted. However, referrals to FinCEN do not preclude the FDIC from using its authority to take formal administrative action.

Treasury regulation 31 CFR 103.59 notifies institutions that they can be subject to criminal penalties if convicted for willful violations of the BSA of not more than $1,000 and/or one year in prison. If such a BSA violation is committed to further any other Federal law punishable by more than a year in prison (such as fraud, money laundering, theft, illegal narcotics sales, etc.) then harsher penalties can be imposed. In these cases, the perpetrator, upon conviction, can be fined not more than $10,000 and/or be imprisoned not more than 5 years. In addition, criminal penalties may also be charged against any person who knowingly makes any false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation in any BSA report. Upon conviction of such an act, the perpetrator may be fined not more than $10,000 and/or imprisoned for 5 years.

What are the Penalties for Non-Compliance?

The government can impose harsh civil and criminal penalties against anyone who violates the BSA, USA PATRIOT Act, OFAC, Dodd Frank or other anti-money laundering and anti-fraud laws and regulations. Civil and criminal fines can quickly reach into the hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. The criminal penalty for violating a BSA requirement is a fine of up to $500,000, a jail term of up to 10 years, or both. In addition, the government can seize any property involved in criminal violations of these laws.

The government requires strict compliance with these laws and regulations.

How Much Does it Cost to Retain Our Firm?

Hiring Axis to assist your business with AML compliance matters is more affordable than you may realize.

We regularly provide fee quotes, estimates, and budgets and no charge, to make the process as transparent, convenient, and affordable as possible.

Contact us today to get a fee quote in connection with your Company’s AML matter.

Do We Offer Free Consultations?

Yes! Call us today for free consultation and we will be happy to speak with you. In as little as 10 to 15 minutes, you could obtain peace of mind about how your company should move ahead with respect to the AML compliance matter facing your business.


AXIS Legal Counsel’s provides legal advice to numerous businesses on a wide variety of Banking Law and AML Compliance legal matters. For information on retaining AXIS Legal Counsel to represent your business in connection with any legal matter, contact info@axislegalca.com or call (213) 403-0130 for a confidential consultation.

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