Malta Needs to Up Its AML Game As Crypto Sector Grows, Says EU

Malta Needs to Up Its AML Game As Crypto Sector Grows, Says EU

Malta needs to increase its levels of anti-money laundering (AML) policing to match the growth in financial services, according to the EU. As reported by Malta Today, the European Commission said the island jurisdiction’s moves to boost its cryptocurrency sector, alongside sizable financial and gaming industries, mean an effective AML regime is required.
Japan Scrutinizing Crypto Exchanges Ahead of G20 Summit

Japan Scrutinizing Crypto Exchanges Ahead of G20 Summit

Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) is said to be scrutinizing cryptocurrency exchanges in the country to ensure anti-money laundering (AML) processes are in place. A report from the Nikkei Asian Review on Wednesday, citing an unnamed FSA official, said that inspections are being carried out ahead of the G20 summit next month.
Dutch Authorities Shut Down Bestmixer

Dutch Authorities Shut Down Bestmixer

The Dutch Financial Intelligence and Investigation Service (FIOD) has shut down cryptomixing site Bestmixer.io. According to local media, Dutch authorities moved to shut down the site on May 22, 2019, as part of a joint operation with police agencies from several European nations, including France, Latvia and Luxembourg. Following concerns originally raised by the online security company McAfee in 2018, the FIOD has claimed that the service was used for money laundering.
EU Authorities Shut Down Bitcoin Transaction Mixer

EU Authorities Shut Down Bitcoin Transaction Mixer

The Dutch Financial Criminal Investigative Service has seized the website of a bitcoin transaction mixer in a crackdown involving Europol and other authorities. Calling it the the “first law enforcement action of its kind against such a cryptocurrency mixer service,” Europol said in a statement Wednesday that the seizure of Bestmixer.
New York Makes First Money Laundering Conviction Involving Cryptocurrency

New York Makes First Money Laundering Conviction Involving Cryptocurrency

In what the Manhattan District Attorney calls the first crypto money laundering conviction in New York, two defendants have pleaded guilty to running a drug trafficking business that laundered millions of dollars in Western Union and crypto payments. According to an official announcement shared by the District Attorney’s office on April 24, 2019, Mark Sanchez and Callaway Crain have pleaded guilty to charges of money laundering through the sale of controlled substances on their website and on the dark web.
New York State Sees First Conviction for Crypto Money Laundering

New York State Sees First Conviction for Crypto Money Laundering

A case involving millions of dollars in bitcoin and Western Union payments has resulted in New York State’s first conviction for cryptocurrency money laundering. The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday that defendants Callaway Crain and Mark Sanchez, both 35, laundered $2.8 million earned through sales of controlled substances carried out over the internet.
The Hidden Effects of Crypto Money Laundering Rules

The Hidden Effects of Crypto Money Laundering Rules

Noelle Acheson is a veteran of company analysis and a member of CoinDesk’s product team. The following article originally appeared in Institutional Crypto by CoinDesk, a free newsletter for the institutional market with news and views on crypto infrastructure delivered every Tuesday. Sign up at the link below. 
In First, FinCEN Penalizes Bitcoin Trader for Violating AML Laws

In First, FinCEN Penalizes Bitcoin Trader for Violating AML Laws

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has for the first time penalized what it dubs a “peer-to-peer cryptocurrency exchanger” for breaking anti-money laundering (AML) rules. The U.S. regulator announced Thursday that California resident and cryptocurrency trader Eric Powers failed to comply with the Bank Secrecy Act’s (BSA) registration and reporting requirements during 2012–2014.
Korean Regulators to Probe Bank AML Measures for Crypto Exchanges

Korean Regulators to Probe Bank AML Measures for Crypto Exchanges

Two South Korea financial regulators are reportedly launching a probe into domestic banks over their implementation of anti-money laundering procedures for cryptocurrency exchanges. According to a report from Yonhap, the Financial Intelligence Unit and Financial Services Commission (FSC) will launch the inspection starting next month at banks offering corporate accounts to cryptocurrency exchanges.

Nordea Bank Accused of Money Laundering After It Banned ‘the Risky’ Bitcoin

In January this year, Nordea bank banned its 31,000 employees from buying Bitcoin and other cryptos. The bank, which is the largest in the Nordic region, termed Bitcoin as too risky and as having the potential to be used in crime. Nine months later, the bank has been implicated in an alleged money laundering scandal. According to a report by Finnish state-owned YLE publication, the bank has been accused of receiving dirty money from two banks in the Baltic States. This is just after another anti-bitcoin bank, Danske, was nabbed with similar accusations.

Alleged Bitcoin Launderer and BTC-E Admin Likely to Stand Trial in U.S.

Alleged bitcoin launderer and BTC-e administrator Alexander Vinnik is likely to stand trial in the U.

China’s Central Bank Believes Bitcoin will be Dead in a River

A People’s Bank of China (PBoC) official has stated that he thinks bitcoin will end up floating down a river as a dead body.

LocalBitcoins Traders Charged with Fraud for Selling Bitcoin to Thief in Kenya

Three Kenyan peer-to-peer bitcoin brokers have been charged with banking fraud in connection with trades they made through the LocalBitcoins trading platform. The case could set a troubling precedent for bitcoin traders in Kenya. As reported by regional media outlet Kenyan Wall Street, 10.

Japan’s Cryptocurrency Exchanges Report 170 Money-Laundering Cases Since April

Following new cryptocurrency regulations in April, Japanese police have pointed to 170 cases of money laundering via cryptocurrencies reported by exchange operators in six months between April and October. Japan’s National Police Agency (NPA) has compiled its first report on cryptocurrency laundering cases following revised laws in April that mandated cryptocurrency exchange operators to flag and report transactions suspected of money laundering. The regulations kicked in alongside new legislation that now sees bitcoin recognized as a legal method of payment in Japan.

Deutsche Bank’s Chief Strategist Wants You to Avoid Bitcoin

Deutsche Bank’s chief strategist has said that he wouldn’t recommend bitcoin as an investment option. Ulrich Stephan, chief strategist at Germany’s global banking and financial services company, said this week: I would simply not recommend this to the everyday investor. According to a report from Reuters, the main reasons for Stephan’s comment is due to the fact that the digital currency’s price fluctuates too much and regulation is non-existent.

Alleged BTC-E Admin’s Extradition Hearing Postponed until December

As CCN previously reported, 38-year-old Russian national Alexander Vinnik was arrested in July while vacationing in Greece, in connection with alleged financial crimes committed while operating the now defunct bitcoin exchange BTC-e. Back in October, a three-judge panel approved a request to extradite him to the U.

Alleged Bitcoin Launderer BTC-E Admin’s Legal Future Thrown Into Turmoil

A Greek court approved Russia’s extradition request for alleged BTC-e operator and bitcoin launderer Alexander Vinnik, throwing his judicial future into question. As CCN has reported, Vinnik — a 37-year-old Russian national — was arrested in July while vacationing in Greece in connection with alleged financial crimes he committed while operating bitcoin exchange BTC-e.
Russia Blasts Decision to Extradite Alleged Bitcoin Money Launderer

Russia Blasts Decision to Extradite Alleged Bitcoin Money Launderer

Russia's foreign ministry has sharply criticized a Greek court's decision to extradite Alexander Vinnik to the US for his alleged role in laundering funds through the BTC-e bitcoin exchange. In a statement, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs said today that they "noted with regret" that the court opted to comply with the US's extradition request for Vinnik, who was arrested in Greece in late July and was accused of laundering billions of dollars in bitcoin through the exchange.

Alleged BTC-E Admin and Bitcoin Launderer Will Be Extradited to U.S.

Alleged bitcoin launderer and BTC-e administrator Alexander Vinnik will be extradited to the United States, a Greek court decided Wednesday morning. Vinnik, a 37-year-old  Russian national, has been indicted by a U.S. grand jury on 21 counts related to financial crimes. Most notably, he is accused of laundering $4 billion in bitcoin, including funds stolen from Mt.

FICO Patent Filing Hints at Plans for Bitcoin Exchange Monitoring

The company behind the FICO credit scoring system is looking at how to collect information from bitcoin exchanges as part of a new anti-money laundering product, new public documents show. A patent application from FICO, published September 21, details a programmable system for detecting potentially illicit transactions and flagging them for future review. That information would then be used to develop "threat scores" to be utilized by bank anti-money laundering specialists, according to the filing.