The Week Of: October 14, 2019

This week’s news and stories of interest to the AML community. If you prefer a news roundup sent to you, subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Cryptocurrency Enforcement in the U.S. Ratchets Up

Three U.S. financial regulators issued a joint statement on October 11 reminding cryptocurrency- and virtual asset-related businesses that they must abide by their anti-money laundering and countering terrorism financing obligations via the Bank Secrecy Act. Applicable businesses include brokers registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC); crypto exchanges that must register as money services businesses with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN); and broker-dealers and mutual funds obligated to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Additionally, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which treats cryptocurrency as an investment subject to capital gains taxes, updated its Form 1040 to include a question asking taxpayers if they have received, sold, sent, exchanged, or otherwise acquired financial interest in any virtual currency during the 2019 tax year. Failing to check yes or no could possibly lead to legal headaches, according to Forbes.

Read SEC, FinCEN and CFTC issue rare 3-party joint statement on digital assets at Yahoo! Finance and There’s A New Question On Your 1040 As IRS Gets Serious About Cryptocurrency at Forbes.

Elder Financial Abuse Costs Seniors Billions Each Year

According to the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, fraud victims over age 70 lost an average of $42,000 between 2013 and 2017. Unfortunately, those who lost the most were usually ripped off by someone they knew. The annual cost of elder financial fraud is hard to pinpoint as the crime is severely underreported; current estimates range from $3 billion to $37 billion per year. CNBC has more, including steps seniors can take to protect themselves, at Elder financial abuse is a multibillion-dollar problem.

Modern Slavery in the UK on the Rise

An analysis by the UK’s Independent newspaper revealed the number of British people identified as modern slavery victims increased by 72 percent from 2017-18 to 2018-19. Labor exploitation was the most common type of exploitation, making up 48 percent of cases. A spokesman for Anti-Slavery International said that services designed to spot early warning signs were “very underfunded.” On this, Anti-Slavery Day in the UK, read more of the Independent‘s reporting: Number of British modern slavery victims up 72% in a year, figures show

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