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The Price Cap on Russian Oil – Part 2: Updated OFAC Guidance

In our previous article on this topic (which you can read here), we analyzed recent enforcement activity by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) related to the maritime transport of Russian-origin crude oil and Russian-origin petroleum products above price caps agreed by the “Price Cap Coalition,” comprising Australia, Canada, … Continue Reading

The Price Cap on Russian Oil – Part 1: Increased OFAC Enforcement

In June 2022, the Group of Seven (“G7”) countries—Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States—decided to pursue a policy to cap the price of Russian oil. In December 2022, the G7 countries, joined by Australia and the supranational European Union (together, the “Price Cap Coalition”) officially implemented measures to ban … Continue Reading

Increased Corporate Transparency in the Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands, a British overseas territory, has long been recognized as one of the world’s leading providers of institutionally focused financial services and a preferred destination for the structuring and domiciling of sophisticated and specialized financial services products, particularly investment funds.  However, for a number of reasons, the inherent risks to the Cayman Islands’ … Continue Reading

Noteworthy Trends in French White Collar Crime

France’s Sapin II Law was created in 2016 to address corporate corruption and implement antibribery measures. The legislation took effect in 2017, marking a significant shift in the country’s regulatory compliance landscape. The law, which tracks closely with similar laws in the US, UK, and other EU countries, requires large companies [1] to implement a … Continue Reading

FCA Investigates Bank Account Closures, Including for PEP Customers

Following concerns raised by the government of the United Kingdom (“UK”) about freedom of expression and the provision of banking services, the UK’s financial watch dog, the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”), recently commenced an investigation into bank account closures.  This action follows in the wake of recent reports of banks allegedly closing customer accounts based … Continue Reading

Increasing US Enforcement Action for Sanctions Violations by Crypto Exchanges Likely to Have Ripple Effect in UK and Europe

The investigation and enforcement of potential sanctions violations by crypto exchanges is an area of focus in the US at present.  The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control’s (OFAC) recent settlement with Kraken, a global virtual currency exchange, is the most recent OFAC case demonstrating the risks for virtual currency platforms … Continue Reading

UAE Ministry of Justice Confirms Reciprocity with the English Courts

On September 13, 2022, Judge Abdul Rahman Murad Al-Blooshi, Director of the International Cooperation Department of the UAE Ministry of Justice, issued a communiqué to His Excellency Tarish Eid Al-Mansoori, Director General of the Dubai Courts, directing the Dubai Courts to enforce judgements issued by the English Courts (the “Directive”).  This follows the English Courts’ … Continue Reading

Fourth Circuit Extends Territorial Reach of Wire Fraud Statute

The United States may prosecute foreign fraudsters using U.S. wires when their entirely foreign-based schemes use U.S. wires to victimize persons in the United States. That is the conclusion we draw from the Fourth Circuit’s decision in United States v Elbaz. The Elbaz court joined the Ninth Circuit in holding that the wire-fraud statute’s focus … Continue Reading

Russian Sanctions Update: Will “Biting” Eighth EU Sanctions Package Prohibit Legal Services?

“Russia should not benefit from European knowledge and expertise.”  That is the view of European Commission (“EC”) President Ursula von der Leyen, who recently proposed an eighth package of sanctions against Russia in response to “escalation” in Ukraine.  Among the “biting” new sanctions will be a wider ban on the provision of European services to … Continue Reading

Account Freezing and Forfeiture Orders: is the FCA waking up to its investigative powers?   

The author and editors would like to thank Eben Kurtz for his contributions to this post. On 21 April 2022, the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) secured its first Account Forfeiture Order (“AFO”), a tool used for asset recovery under Part 5 of Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (”POCA”), for a sum of £2,000,000 against … Continue Reading

Law Commission Proposes Reforms to Corporate Criminal Liability in the UK

The proposal outlines 10 possible ways to bolster UK corporate criminal liability. The UK Law Commission, has published their proposals (the Options Paper) to overhaul criminal law as it applies to companies in the UK. The Law Commission is an independent commission created by Parliament to keep UK law under review and to recommend reforms. … Continue Reading

The UK’s OFSI Provides Guidance on Strict Liability Sanctions Breach Penalties

The Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI), part of HM Treasury, which is the authority for implementing financial sanctions in the UK, have published guidance to clarify how they will use their new powers to impose civil monetary penalties for sanctions breaches on a strict liability basis from Monday 15 June 2022.  The full message … Continue Reading

Responding to Financial Crime Risks during COVID-19

Over the past few months, numerous organizations and agencies—including the intergovernmental Financial Action Task Force, UK Financial Conduct Authority, Dubai Financial Services Authority, and U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network—have stressed the need to preserve the integrity and security of the global payments system during and after the pandemic.… Continue Reading

Australia Plans to Join U.S. and U.K. in the CLOUD Act

Following its agreement with the United Kingdom, the United States announces formal negotiations are underway with Australia about joining the CLOUD Act. Although also a bi-lateral negotiation, the U.S. talks with Australia strike a more practical tone than those with the U.K.… Continue Reading

U.S. and U.K. Ease Data Collection Across Borders

Saying it will accelerate complex investigations, the United States and the United Kingdom proposed an historic data exchange agreement. In future, each government will be able to obtain electronic data directly from technology companies in the other country. The governments also say this first of its kind agreement will protect privacy and enhance civil liberties.… Continue Reading

Fugitive Diamantaire Faces Extradition from UK to India

A UK court recently fixed a remand hearing in the extradition case of Nirav Modi, a fugitive diamond merchant and the prime accused in a USD 2 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case. After Vijay Mallya (Indian businessman) and Sanjeev Chawla (alleged cricket bookie), Mr. Modi’s case is the third in a series of … Continue Reading

Britain Lifts Veil of Financial Secrecy for Overseas Territories

The UK Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act signifies major changes to the UK’s anti-money laundering and sanctions regimes. Britain’s overseas territories, often criticized as tax havens, are now required to establish public registries of beneficial corporate ownership by December 31, 2020. The Act also includes a Magnitsky Amendment, modeled on U.S. law, enabling sanctions against … Continue Reading

DPA Regime a Landmark Change to Singaporean Law

A recent landmark change to Singapore’s criminal justice system providing for Deferred Prosecution Agreements (“DPAs”), or voluntary alternatives to adjudication, should increase corporate accountability for acts of bribery, corruption, and money laundering.… Continue Reading

Serious Fraud Office: Apparent Renewed Faith

In the first part of this two-part post, we looked at some of the infamous cases that may explain repeated attempts by Theresa May, first as Home Secretary and later as Prime Minister, to dismantle the SFO, see here. Our attentions now turn to the important role the SFO continues to play in combatting corruption, … Continue Reading

Serious Fraud Office: Boost to Coffers Is Vote of Confidence

The UK’s Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”) recently received an unexpected, yet significant, increase in baseline funding for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. The funding boost comes in spite of Prime Minister Theresa May’s previous efforts, following several high-profile prosecutorial setbacks for the SFO, to fold it into the UK’s National Crime Agency (“NCA”). Relatedly, a new … Continue Reading

2018 – Problem and Promise of Cryptocompliance in Europe

In the first part of this three-part post, we examined “cryptocompliance” as an emerging focus of various Asian regulators, click here. Next, we analyze European (and intergovernmental) attitudes. As will become clear, there is perhaps a healthy blend on display between “cryptocaution” and “cryptofriendliness.” Countries such as the UK and France are making an effort … Continue Reading

Criminal Finances Act 2017 – New Corporate Offences of Failing to Prevent Facilitation of Tax Evasion

The United Kingdom’s National Risk Assessment of money laundering and terrorist financing in October 2015 identified three priority risks faced by the UK and concluded that a more robust enforcement response is required. These changes were to be underpinned by a partnership between the government and the private sector to effect a significant change in … Continue Reading

Rolls-Royce Set to Avoid Prosecution After Bribery Settlement

Rolls-Royce has agreed to pay £671 million in penalties in response to several long-running bribery and corruption investigations.  Regulators in the UK, the United States and Brazil investigated claims that Rolls-Royce had paid bribes to intermediaries to secure high-value export contracts in a number of overseas markets, including China, Brazil and Indonesia. In a press … Continue Reading

Serious Fraud Office Publishes New Guidance on the Presence of Lawyers at Section 2 Criminal Interviews

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has published new guidance on the presence of lawyers at section 2 interviews in criminal investigations conducted under section 2 of the Criminal Justice Act 1987, typically with potential witnesses. The SFO guidance follows the decision of R (Lord and Others) v SFO[1], in which it was ruled that the … Continue Reading
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