Ten highlights from Compliance Week 2022


Editor In Chief Kyle Brasseur recaps the moments that stood out to him most from Compliance Week’s first in-person event since 2019.

Wells Fargo bank

Wells Fargo unit fined $7M for AML transaction monitoring failures


For the second time in five years, a subsidiary of Wells Fargo has been charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission with failing to file suspicious activity reports in a timely manner due to deficiencies in the system it used to flag transactions.

CW2022 John Carreyrou

Carreyrou lauds whistleblowers’ roles in helping expose Theranos fraud


John Carreyrou, whose reporting exposed blood-testing company Theranos as a fraud, discussed the vital role lab director Adam Rosendorff and his other colleagues that came forward played as sources during a fireside chat at Compliance Week’s National Conference.

CW2022 Matthew Friedman

Expert: Combating modern slavery starts with understanding the issue


Matthew Friedman, an expert on international human trafficking with more than 30 years of experience, discussed the importance of companies addressing modern slavery in their supply chains as part of a virtual fireside chat on the human factor of ESG at Compliance Week’s National Conference.

CW2022 Kenneth Polite

DOJ’s Kenneth Polite to CCOs: Tell me your compliance success stories


Kenneth Polite Jr., head of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division and a former chief compliance officer, delivered a dynamic keynote address emphasizing the importance of empowering compliance to avoiding prosecution at Day 2 of Compliance Week’s National Conference.

Investigation costs

Report: Investigation costs rising, driven by data assessment inefficiencies


More than three-quarters of respondents to a Kroll global benchmark report said they have conducted an internal investigation into fraud or corruption within the past three years and that the cost of such probes is on the rise.

AML Czech crowns

Report: European AML compliance efforts remain substandard


European governments need to step up their efforts to combat money laundering and terrorist financing because their current capabilities are below par, according to a report by the Council of Europe’s Moneyval unit.

Shadow business

Why beneficial ownership is crucial in supporting current sanctions

2022-05-03T20:02:00+01:00By Jason Morris, International Compliance Association

To ensure Russian money is controlled, and for sanctions to work, it is imperative the beneficial owners of sanctioned firms are identified. But determining beneficial owners is not always straightforward.


Deutsche Bank confirms AML raid at German headquarters


Deutsche Bank confirmed its Frankfurt headquarters were raided by German prosecutors in relation to a money laundering probe regarding suspicious activity reports filed by the bank.

British pounds

FCA cracking down on challenger banks after review


Challenger banks must improve how they assess financial crime risk following a review by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority that found some fail to carry out even basic customer checks.

Danske Bank

Danske Bank, authorities in ‘initial discussions’ regarding AML scandal resolution


Danske Bank has entered “initial discussions” with U.S. and Danish authorities on resolution regarding one of the world’s largest money laundering scandals that took place at its Estonia branch.

Tyler Hand

CW National 2022 Q&A: Tyler Hand on working in high-risk countries


Tyler Hand, chief compliance officer at Western Union, previews his panel titled, “The Fast-Evolving Risk Working in High-Risk Countries—Experiences and Lessons Learned,” at CW’s National Conference in Washington, D.C. from May 16-18.

Archegos Capital

Archegos founder Bill Hwang indicted for fraud; chief risk officer pleads guilty


Bill Hwang, the founder of Archegos Capital Management, was arrested and charged with racketeering conspiracy, securities fraud, and wire fraud for orchestrating a multibillion-dollar market manipulation scheme that resulted in the U.S. hedge fund’s collapse.

London cityscape

FCA puts U.K. fintech firms on notice with QPay forfeiture


The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority used its powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act to force fintech firm QPay Europe to forfeit £2 million (U.S. $2.5 million) alleged to be linked to a U.S.-based wire fraud conspiracy.


Webcast Q&A: Managing correspondent banking relationships

2022-04-26T19:34:00+01:00By David Povey, International Compliance Association

Correspondent banking is a vital part of the global economy, but when incorrectly managed can present considerable financial crime risks.


Anchorage Digital Bank gets OCC consent order for AML compliance failures


The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced a consent order against Anchorage Digital Bank, the first digital asset bank to be issued a charter by the regulator, for deficiencies in its Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money laundering compliance program.


CFPB, NYAG sue MoneyGram to halt ‘long pattern of misconduct’


The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit against MoneyGram in federal court, alleging the money remittance company has failed to fulfill the compliance obligations placed upon it in previous enforcement actions.


Stericycle to pay $84M to resolve FCPA violations


Medical waste disposal company Stericycle has agreed to pay $84 million in civil and criminal penalties to resolve allegations it paid bribes to win government contracts in Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina.

Russia_United States

FinCEN advisory highlights Russian kleptocracy concerns


The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network issued an advisory offering red flag indicators of kleptocracy and foreign corruption, noting Russia as a country of “particular concern.”

DOJ wall

​DOJ eyeing PetroNor board chairman in corruption probe


The Department of Justice has become involved in a corruption investigation focused on individuals at Oslo-listed oil and gas exploration and production company PetroNor that has grown to include Board Chairman Eyas Alhomouz, a U.S. citizen.

Magnifying glass

Five considerations for a transaction monitoring system

2022-04-11T19:10:00+01:00By David Povey, International Compliance Association

Transaction monitoring is an area constantly in the spotlight. David Povey of the International Compliance Association explains five key monitoring considerations for anyone managing or working within financial institutions.

Goldman Sachs Tower

Ex-Goldman banker convicted of FCPA violations in 1MDB case


Roger Ng, one of the central figures of the Goldman Sachs 1MDB scandal, was found guilty by a federal jury of conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and commit money laundering.

DOJ building

​DOJ declines FCPA prosecution of insurance broker JLT


The Department of Justice informed Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group Holdings it would not face prosecution under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act despite alleged evidence of nearly $3.2 million the company paid in bribes to Ecuadorian government officials.

LA Fashion District

FinCEN fines A&S World Trading $275K in first GTO action


The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network fined A&S World Trading $275,000 for willful violations of the Bank Secrecy Act in its first enforcement action against a company for failing to comply with a geographic targeting order.

Coal mining

Ex-coal company exec charged with FCPA violations


Former coal company executive Charles Hunter Hobson was arrested on charges of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, laundering funds, and receiving kickbacks in an alleged bribery scheme in Egypt, the Department of Justice announced.

Treasury Department

Senators call for close of private investment AML/CFT loophole


Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) called on the Treasury Department and SEC to close a “disconcerting loophole” that exempts hedge funds and other private investment firms from reporting suspicious activity within their transactions to authorities.


SFO dealt blow after second Unaoil conviction overturned


The U.K. Serious Fraud Office was dealt another blow after Paul Bond, a former sales manager at Dutch energy services company SBM Offshore, had his 42-month jail sentence overturned because the agency failed to disclose vital evidence in its Unaoil case.

Dark money

Report: Number of AML fines up, penalty totals down in 2021


The number of anti-money laundering fines assessed against financial institutions globally reached its highest amount in six years during 2021, though the penalty amounts associated with those enforcement actions dropped notably, according to Kroll’s annual benchmark report.


Ericsson mum on Iraq misconduct amid ‘comprehensive review’


Ericsson has launched a sweeping review into evidence it uncovered regarding misconduct in Iraq and the subsequent disclosure of those findings after the Department of Justice warned the Swedish telecom of a second breach of its 2019 deferred prosecution agreement.

Elizabeth Rosenberg

Treasury official: Compliance has chance to effect history with Russia response


Elizabeth Rosenberg, assistant secretary for terrorist financing and financial crimes at the Treasury Department, said in a speech “history has thrust the compliance sector into the center of events” regarding business response to evolving sanctions and actions against Russia.


Compliance implications of USAA order addressing AML lapses


The consent order issued by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency against USAA Bank imparts lessons for compliance officers in the financial services industry on how—and how not—to maintain a Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money laundering compliance program.


TRACE: U.S. bribery enforcement continued decline in 2021


The number of U.S. foreign bribery enforcement actions slowed notably in 2021, while the overall pace of transnational anti-bribery enforcement actions and investigations lagged worldwide, according to TRACE International’s latest enforcement report.


USAA fined $140M for AML compliance failures


USAA Federal Savings Bank must pay $140 million as part of consent orders reached with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for its failures maintaining its Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money laundering compliance program.


Embattled Ericsson reshuffles compliance function with new hire


Ericsson named Scott Dresser to lead its compliance division. The appointment comes the same month the Swedish telecom was notified by the Department of Justice of a second breach of its 2019 deferred prosecution agreement with the agency.


MoneyGram, NYDFS agree on $8.25M settlement for supervision lapses


MoneyGram will pay $8.25 million as part of a settlement with the New York State Department of Financial Services for supervision failures regarding local agents processing suspicious transactions in China.

Russia Ukraine economy

Banks face complex compliance risks as they attempt to exit Russia


Once a bank decides to withdraw or wind down its Russian operations, there are a host of thorny compliance issues to navigate in a compressed timeframe, including sanctions implications, money laundering risks, and more.


Swedbank Estonia named suspect in money laundering investigation


The Estonian branch of Swedbank has been summoned for interrogation as part of a probe into suspected money laundering and other criminal activities.


Learning points from HSBC’s fine for AML failings

2022-03-14T18:55:00+00:00By Teodora Harrop, for International Compliance Association

Significant investment in systems has not been fully effective in mitigating financial crime risk. A fine of nearly £64 million (then-U.S. $84 million) imposed on HSBC by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority in December is a particularly potent example.

U.S. crypto

Biden executive order seeks to study crypto, evaluate Fed-backed digital currency


President Joe Biden has ordered federal regulators to study the risks and potential benefits of digital assets and their underlying technology while encouraging the Federal Reserve to continue evaluating the creation of a federally backed digital currency.

Allison Herren Lee and Hester Peirce

Top 10 reasons to attend Compliance Week 2022


A keynote with two SEC commissioners; interactive sessions on global sanctions, ESG, and ethical leadership; and a new conference location and format highlight Dave Lefort’s list of reasons to be excited for CW’s first in-person event in nearly three years.

Mobile TeleSystems

MTS compliance monitorship extended one year


The Department of Justice and Mobile TeleSystems jointly agreed to voluntarily extend for one year the term of the Russian telecommunications company’s independent compliance monitorship in accordance with a 2019 deferred prosecution agreement.

Central Bank of Russia

FinCEN warns financial institutions of Russian sanctions evasion


The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network issued guidance highlighting the types of red flags financial institutions should be looking for to detect potential Russian sanctions evasion attempts.

Andrew Russo

Six years later, CW whistleblower subject receives award


Andrew Russo, one of five whistleblowers to share their stories in CW’s “Witness to Wrongdoing” series, has finally received an award from the Securities and Exchange Commission, nearly six years after he filed his claim.

United Arab Emirates

FATF adds United Arab Emirates to AML/CFT watchlist


The Financial Action Task Force added the United Arab Emirates to its “grey list” of countries subject to increased monitoring due to deficiencies in fighting financial crime.


DOJ informs Ericsson of second breach of DPA


Ericsson announced the Department of Justice determined the Swedish telecom breached its obligations under a 2019 deferred prosecution agreement again, this time for insufficient disclosure regarding conduct in Iraq.

DOJ wall

DOJ to seek more info on victims in white-collar enforcement cases


The Justice Department will ask companies to enhance how they address victim issues as part of new efforts announced by Criminal Division head Kenneth Polite Jr. in a speech on white-collar crime.

Source of wealth

Source of funds/source of wealth: Knowing the difference and best practices

2022-03-04T12:50:00+00:00By Holly Thomas-Wrightson, International Compliance Association

With the similarity of their nature and how they overlap, not to mention how often they are mentioned in the same breath, it can easily lead to confusion when trying to remember which is which between source of funds and source of wealth.

Treasury Department

Treasury reports examine persistent and emerging AML/CFT risks


The Treasury Department outlined key areas where criminals, terrorist groups, and rogue nations are using the U.S. banking system to launder funds to finance their illicit activities.

MoneyGram sign

MoneyGram sets aside $15.8M to settle NYDFS, CFPB investigations


MoneyGram disclosed it expects to pay a total of $15.8 million to settle two separate investigations by the New York State Department of Financial Services and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.


How compliance can help prevent illegal wildlife trade

2022-03-01T18:50:00+00:00By Teodora Harrop, for International Compliance Association

Developing a reasonable understanding of the supply chain is the first step in ascertaining whether corporate entities might inadvertently participate or facilitate illegal trading in wildlife.