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NYDFS Issues Enforcement Action Against the Industrial Bank of Korea

April 21, 2020 | Compliance Financial Crime Consulting

The New York State Department of Financial Services yesterday issued an enforcement action against the Industrial Bank of Korea (“IBK”) for violations of New York’s anti-money laundering and recordkeeping obligations. It is the first of these type of BSA/AML enforcement actions issued by the Department in some time; this is not surprising, given that NYDFS, like other regulators, has been consumed with responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Significant elements of the Consent Order include:

  • a $35 million penalty to be
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NYDFS Issues Additional COVID-19 Guidance Regarding Cybersecurity

April 16, 2020 | Compliance Financial Crime Consulting

The New York State Department of Financial Services has been issuing a stream of orders and guidance for regulated institutions concerning the COVID-19 pandemic. This week it issued another one directed at cybersecurity.  DFS is widely known for its first-in-the-nation mandatory and comprehensive cybersecurity regulation (23 NYCRR Part 500), and this new guidance is intended to inform licensees that DFS has “identified several areas of heightened cybersecurity risk as a result of this [health] crisis.”


The DFS guidance
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Combating Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing in the Art Community

April 7, 2020 | Compliance Financial Crime Consulting

Although perhaps not as brazen as the recent theft of a Van Gogh from a museum in the Netherlands, fine art can be an attractive target for accused money launderers like Nazem Said Ahmad. Mr. Ahmad was recently named a “designated person” by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). OFAC pointed to the use of a Beirut art gallery by Ahmad to launder money in support of Hizballah (a/k/a Hezbollah) just as it issued … Read More

Compliance for Government Contractors

March 5, 2020 | Compliance Federal Procurement

Anyone who has been involved in U.S. government contracting knows that applicable rules and regulations have increased consistently over the years.  Congress has used federal contracts to implement a wide range of policies, regulations, and laws, from labor laws to environmental concerns to subcontracting requirements to cybersecurity matters.  This accumulation of federal regulations, along with state and local laws and regulations, creates a nest of complicated and often interdependent compliance-related obligations that the federal contractor must perform in connection with … Read More

Is Your Antitrust Compliance Program Robust and Effective?

February 27, 2020 | Compliance

At the ABA’s annual International Cartel Workshop, Antitrust Division Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard Powers reinforced the department’s new policy on evaluating and crediting effective compliance programs when considering prosecutions. While discussing the Leniency Program (which provides complete immunity for the company first to report) as the division’s most important tool in fighting domestic and international cartels, he emphasized that the policy on compliance programs will play an important role as well. His remarks drew the connection between leniency to
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Is a Monitor on the Horizon?

February 10, 2020 | Compliance Monitoring

The Department of Justice has come knocking and is investigating your company for let’s say –serious money laundering or sanction violations or for manufacturing a defective product that has caused injuries or deaths.

The press is bad, raising grave questions about the company’s culture. Emails released to the public show that employees are afraid to speak up for fear of retaliation, or worse, employees are hiding misconduct from the regulators.

It’s just a matter of time before your company settles … Read More

New York State’s MWBE Participation Program

November 14, 2019 | Compliance

 “The extension and expansion of New York’s nation-leading MWBE program will help ensure our economy is reflective of our values and of our diverse talent pool… and by signing this measure into law we will empower more women and people of color to participate in State contracts and continue our aggressive program to make contracting even more inclusive.”

So said New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo this past summer when he signed into law legislation renewing for five more years, … Read More

Historic Action on the Hill: Cannabis Banking Bill Passes House

October 31, 2019 | Compliance

As the state-legal cannabis industry continues to march forward at a nearly unprecedented pace, it has remained hobbled by federal legal constraints. The fact that cannabis is illegal at the federal level throws myriad wrenches into the works. Banking is the most notable sticking point.

To run a legitimate business, one needs access to a legitimate bank, but the federal government’s stance on cannabis makes banks hesitant to take on cannabis businesses as clients. In a  response that many consider … Read More

Cryptocurrency Regulation is Working, But Can it Be Improved?

October 28, 2019 | Compliance

As regulators and legislators dash to keep up with developments in financial services technology and markets, cryptocurrency remains a central focus. At a recent fintech forum held at Georgetown University, Superintendent Linda Lacewell indicated that the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) would be reviewing its existing licensing scheme for cryptocurrency businesses operating in New York. It was reported that Superintendent Lacewell said, “This is a good time to take a look . . . and see how
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Practical Tips to Protect Union and Fringe Benefit Fund Assets

October 21, 2019 | Compliance Financial Crime Consulting

Recent headlines highlight the arrests of officials from labor organizations or fringe benefit funds for spending union or health and welfare fund monies on vacations, luxury items, parties and pricey restaurants or for entering into collusive agreements with employers, extorting money, or criminally coercing concessions from vendors and suppliers. These actions violate the Hobbs Act. The consequences of such misconduct can be detrimental to say the least.

The cost of remedial litigation alone can be overwhelming, while the reputational … Read More