Wednesday, September 30, 2020

$ Money laundering fuels ‘rampant criminality,’

Impacts the price you have to pay.
Competition by illegals.
Houses cost more where crooks with money want to live, such as Miami, NYC, Beverly Hills,….
Huge amount of crime you cannot get accounting on makes huge amounts of money for crooks.
Globalism is enabled by money sloshing around in corporate and nonprofit business structures, and governments.
You cannot get good info on who is behind most companies committees associations,….
You cannot get info on what banks do with trillions of $ passing thru their hands daily.
Panama papers leaks did not change the system.
Lots of bad press did not change the system.

If you are honest you are taxed to pay for the sins of the crooks.
Drugs, robberies, shootings, high rent in your neighborhood are just the tip of the iceberg.
This is mostly old news.

Miami Herald:

Money laundering fuels 'rampant criminality,' senator says.
Will lawmakers do something?.

A massive leak of bank documents connects the dots between money laundering,
the pilfering of public funds,
and ponzi schemes.

The documents were leaked to BuzzFeed News,
which shared them with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
ICIJ recruited a global team of journalists

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell goes before the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday,
his third time testifying on Capitol Hill this week and
perhaps the first time he'll get a question about The FinCEN Files.

The global journalism collaboration involving leaked secret banking documents
from the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network
has drawn instant action across the globe but a yawn from many members of Congress.

The collaboration involves documents obtained by online news outlet BuzzFeed News
and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

It put together a team
— whose combined reporting documented how banks across the globe,
including in South Florida,
have flagged as suspicious transactions that triggered little or no reaction from U.S. law enforcement.

Global banking giants Deutsche Bank and HSBC, among others,
continued with suspect activity
even after being hit with regulatory penalties for faulty anti-laundering programs,
according to Suspicious Activity Reports, or SARs, filed to FinCEN.

The Treasury Department, not Powell's Fed, writes the rules for combating money laundering.

The actual oversight is done by a patchwork of regulators, including the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Fed, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and states, which regulate their own state-chartered banks.

The Federal Reserve does not police money laundering at banks the way it might look at loan performance and capital on hand at a bank.

But the Fed has been active, bringing penalties in recent years against Deutsche Bank, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, BNY Mellon, HSBC, and Standard Chartered for anti-money-laundering violations.

Staffing at FinCEN remains a chronic issue.

FinCEN employs only around 300 people and has an annual budget of roughly $117 million.

That's a smaller sum than many of the bank customers' accounts flagged in SARs that it receives from banks.

"More journalists reported [and] analysed the limited sample in the leak than the entire staff of FinCEN for its broad range of regulatory, analysis, and international liaison mandates,"
wrote director of FinCEN from 2007 to 2012,

Freis recently became CEO of Wirecard AG,
a German lender that was rocked earlier this year by accusations that $2.1 billion had gone missing.

It's his job to clean up a company that was flagged repeatedly by banks, including an August 2014 filing by Bank of New York Mellon that warned Wirecard had
"a significant number of known customers in the
pornography and
online gambling
industries that have been revealed in previous SAR filings."

When the reporting partnership working on The FinCEN Files reached out to FinCEN for comment last month, prior to publication,
the agency put out a statement on Sept. 1
saying that the unauthorized disclosure of the documents was a crime and that it had referred the matter to the Justice Department.

just four days before publication of the stories from the leaked tranche of documents,
the Treasury Department proposed a new rule that requires financial institutions to maintain an "effective and reasonably designed" anti-money-laundering program.

Just as the Panama Papers reverberated across the globe in April 2016 when it spotlighted how the rich, powerful and corrupt use shell companies to hide illicit gains,

The FinCEN Files are spotlighting how weak supervision has allowed banks to facilitate massive amounts of money laundering.

"Money laundering has fueled rampant criminality, and banks and the federal
government too often look the other way or don't have the legal tools and resources,"
said Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat.
"Trillions of dollars ride on the system being broken, so it remains broken."

Wyden and Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio co-authored legislation that served as a starting point for discussion on
how to require better and more effective disclosure of who really owns shell companies.
A measure similar to theirs has already passed the House of Representatives
and is being married up with a Senate equivalent offered by the top two members of the Banking Committee.

The FinCEN Files has added urgency to the negotiations,
Rubio said in an interview,
hoping to add the legislation as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.

"Reports like that sort of highlight the need for it.
It's one of those things that doesn't have anybody against it.
It just gets caught up in all this other stuff,"
Rubio said, pointing to the reports about Venezuelans in Miami flagged by banks.

"It drives up real estate prices, for example.

One of the reasons, not the only one, why the Miami-Dade metropolitan area is an expensive place to live
is these guys are pouring a bunch of cash into it
and raising prices for everybody else,"

The FinCEN Files are a wake-up call, suggested Clark Gascoigne,
interim executive director of the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition,
an advocacy group pushing since the Panama Papers for greater disclosure.

"One of the scariest aspects of all of this is that
we're actually one of the better countries in the world at investigating and enforcing our AML laws
and it's clearly broken here
as The FinCEN Files show,"

"It's only worse around the rest of the word.

That's truly scary."

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