Anti-Money Laundering & Economic Sanctions

Overview

Well after the enactment of the USA PATRIOT Act, the financial service industry is still struggling with the continuing evolution of regulatory requirements for anti-money laundering (“AML”) and sanctions compliance. Laws and regulations have not only expanded existing compliance obligations, but imposed new obligations on previously unregulated industries.

Our anti-money laundering and economic sanctions attorneys know how to minimize your risks and work with regulators to avoid enforcement actions. Whether it’s handling Office of Foreign Assets Controls (“OFAC”) licensing, reviewing compliance plans, or defending subpoenas and investigation proceedings, we’re able to advise you in all areas of sanctions compliance in connection with international transactions.

We conduct sanctions-related due diligence for corporate transactions, asset sales, and loan agreements, and guide clients with regard to sanctions clauses in transaction documents and other agreements. We also represent clients before the Department of State’s Office of Sanctions Policy and Implementation in connection with Iran “secondary sanctions” on third-country targets as well as Specially Designated Nationals (“SDNs”) de-listing petitions.

How We Can Help

  • conducting initial risk assessments of various regulated entities to identify and mitigate their potential exposure to money laundering, terrorist financing, or violations of the regulations issued by the OFAC
  • establishing anti-money laundering policies and procedures, and providing ongoing compliance advice
  • conducting audits and internal investigations
  • interacting with regulators and government attorneys

Risk Assessments

We analyze procedures for handling new types of accounts and transactions, customer identification procedures (“CIP”), suspicious activity report (“SAR”) monitoring, and other reporting obligations, and we recommend best practices based on the latest trends and current case law.

Regulatory Compliance

We help clients meet their regulatory and compliance obligations under the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”), the USA PATRIOT Act, and the economic sanctions programs administered by OFAC, and respond to informal and formal requests including filing SARs, Financial Crimes and Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) form 8300s, and Foreign Bank Reports (”FBARS”), among others.

Internal Investigations

Our team conducts sensitive corporate internal investigations and client-regulated risk assessments to satisfy government requested corporate compliance. The goal is to develop and analyze factual and legal issues, defend clients against any potential allegations, and develop creative solutions for problems that are identified as a result of the investigative process. 

Negotiation with Regulators

When a client becomes the focus of the regulators or an enforcement action, we are able to draw upon our prior experience to negotiate, reduce, or mitigate any proposed civil monetary penalties.

Experience

  • Representation of a regional bank in the negotiation and resolution of a civil enforcement penalty investigation by FinCEN, as well as in an ongoing criminal investigation by a U.S. Attorney.
  • Represented financial institutions in connection with the negotiation of civil enforcement penalties by FinCEN.
  • Assisted an international broker-dealer with money laundering and OFAC compliance obligations associated with an assumption of a Fortune 50 international stock ownership plan.
  • Provided advice on the various foreign-lender compliance obligations under the USA PATRIOT Act to an Italian bank in connection with a series of real estate loans made in New York in euros pursuant to a loan agreement governed by Italian law.