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United States: SEC And OFAC Take Crypto Enforcement Actions, FCA Extends AML Exemption

Posted 08 Jun-2021 02:48 PM by Lisa | 378

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently filed suit against five individuals, alleging that they raised more than $2 billion from retail investors through their promotion of a global, unregistered digital asset securities offering. As noted in a recent press release, the complaint alleges that the defendants acted as promoters for BitConnect to market and sell securities without registering the securities offering or being registered as broker-dealers. The complaint seeks injunctive relief, disgorgement and civil penalties.

In an effort to provide additional surveillance tools to its investigators, the United States Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) has sought another subscription to blockchain analytics software offered by a major blockchain analytics company, according to a recent report. The requested subscription reportedly is intended to help members of OFAC's Office of Global Targeting collaborate with international partners on investigations into money laundering and terrorist financing.

A newly released report by another major blockchain analytics company addresses current issues and trends in cryptocurrency sanctions compliance. The report notes examples of increased sanctions activity and civil enforcement penalties by OFAC, and addresses proposed steps to help navigate compliance efforts, including identifying and avoiding interactions with cryptocurrency exchanges, miners, and other services in countries such as North Korea, Iran, and other jurisdictions that remain subject to broad financial and economic sanctions.

The Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom has extended the date of its temporary registration regime, according to a press release this week. The extension allows existing cryptocurrency businesses to continue to operate while undergoing review of their compliance with money laundering regulations.

One of the world's largest Internet technology companies has advised that as of Aug. 3, 2021, anyone who seeks to advertise cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets to U.S. customers on its Internet search engine must be registered with the U.S. Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network or a federal or state-chartered bank regulator, based on a report this week. Certifications issued by the company prior to that date will be revoked at that time.



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