Weekly Topic Update (Mar 25 to Mar 31)

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Real consequences to come from messed up money markets, experts warn

03/22/2018

While the Federal Reserve increased the interest rate by just 0.25%, distortions in the money markets mean many borrowers are seeing their interest rates rise far faster. Banks are now paying more to borrow money than during the 2012 Euro crisis. Experts say blockages in the inner workings of the financial system could lead to unpredictable ruptures as the markets adapt to a new monetary regime. Read More

Source: Wall Street Journal

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03/19/2018

Cyber-criminals launder up to $200B in profit per year: Report

Bromium • AML BSA CTF • Industry News

A study (for purchase) by Bromium found cyber-crime funds make up 8%-10% of all illegal profits laundered and amount to $80-$200 billion each year. Virtual currencies are the most common tool used for money laundering, but Bitcoin isn’t quite as trendy among hackers. Other key findings include:

  • Cyber-criminals are moving away from Bitcoin to less recognized virtual currencies, like Monero, that provide greater anonymity;
  • Covert data collection found that PayPal and other digital payment systems are employed by cyber-criminals to launder money; and
  • Digital payment systems laundering often involves the use of micro-laundering techniques where multiple, small payments are made so laundering limits aren’t triggered.

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03/20/2018

Iranian alleged to have laundered $115M through U.S. banks

Law360 (sub. req.) • AML BSA CTF • Industry News

An executive of the Iranian conglomerate Stratus Group was arrested and charged with evading sanctions, money laundering and bank fraud for funneling $115 million for a Venezuelan housing complex through the American financial system. Ali Sadr Hashemi Nejad allegedly used front companies in Turkey and Switzerland to evade U.S. sanctions on Iran and hide the violations from U.S. banks and others.

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03/22/2018

Payza.com operators charged with money laundering

Law360 (sub. req.) • AML BSA CTF • Industry News

The brothers who ran cryptocurrency-friendly Payza.com were indicted by a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., on charges that they operated without state licenses and knowingly moved around “dirty” money. Canadians Firoz and Ferhan Patel, founders and operators of Payza, AlertPay.com, and Egopay.com, face charges of money laundering conspiracy and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business.

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