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The V&E Report
Insights in Government Enforcement and Investigations

European Union Expands Anti-Money Laundering Requirements and Increases Beneficial Ownership Transparency

Recently, a number of European countries, including the U.K. and Germany, have enacted revised anti-money laundering laws implementing the European Union’s (“EU”) 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (“the Directive”), in some instances giving companies only weeks to comply with their new anti-money laundering obligations. European authorities have not shied away for handing down large fines against corporations in the past, and it is imperative that companies operating in the EU reassess their current anti-money laundering compliance programs to ensure they are complying with the current state of the law.

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Second Circuit Considers Reach of Bribery Laws Beyond U.S.

On November 7, 2019, a Second Circuit panel1 heard oral argument on whether the use of United States wire services in effecting a bribery scheme is enough, without more, to pull defendants within the scope of U.S. criminal honest-services wire fraud statutes.2 Appellants Juan Angel Napout, the former president of the South American soccer confederation known as CONMEBOL, and Jose Maria Marin, the former president of the Brazilian soccer federation known as the Brazilian Football Confederation, were convicted of wire fraud and racketeering in 2017, where after a six-week trial, the jury found that they had fraudulently awarded broadcast and media rights to international soccer tournaments to officials in Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil.

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As Pushback Grows in Europe Against Facebook’s Libra, Walmart Considers its own Cryptocurrency

A few weeks ago we wrote about the skepticism Libra, Facebook’s proposed cryptocurrency, faced from U.S. regulators. Since then, Libra’s unpopularity has spread across the Atlantic. Public officials in France, Germany, and the UK have claimed Libra could undermine monetary sovereignty and have begun calling for a public digital currency in lieu of Facebook’s private-backed proposal.

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Where in the World Is Dirty Money Going? FinCEN’s Newest Investigation Unit Targets Global Money Laundering

The Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) recently announced the launch of a Global Investigations Division (“GID”). GID will focus its efforts on implementing targeted investigation strategies to combat money laundering and terrorism financing in domestic and international contexts.

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“Panama Papers” Case Reminds How to Protect Against Inadvertently Waiving Attorney-Client Privilege

Recent efforts by the Department of Justice to obtain confidential attorney-client communications in connection with a “Panama Papers” indictment present a stark reminder that lawyers and clients must fastidiously protect the attorney-client privilege else their communications may be compromised and used against them at trial. In an age where the threat from hackers stealing and disseminating confidential information is all too real, prosecutors still will be restricted from accessing and using such materials in their investigation provided you and your clients know what steps to take to protect against an inadvertent waiver of privilege.

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With Bipartisan Support, the Illicit Cash Act Aims to Modernize Anti-Money Laundering Efforts

A promising anti-money laundering bill offers a suite of updates to the current AML regime. It would decrease unnecessary regulations, target shell companies, raise incentives for whistleblowers, and sweep digital currencies into the definition of “monetary instruments.” The proposal is called the Improving Laundering Laws and Increasing Comprehensive Information Tracking of Criminal Activity in Shell Holdings Act (or “ILLICIT CASH Act”).

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