Welcome to This Week In Compliance: GAN’s weekly news roundup, where we curate the latest stories on compliance and anti-corruption to keep you informed. This week, the Biden administration has released a new "dekleptification" guide. Read the full story and more news below:
Biden Administration Releases “Dekleptification” Guide
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has just released the Dekleptification Guide, a book whose purpose is to assist countries that have a vested interest in dismantling kleptocracy. The guide uses historical data and information, some of it related to Ukraine’s ousting of corrupt former president President Viktor Yanukovych to illustrate the lifecycle and groundwork of anti-corruption and dekleptification. The guide also shines more light on the Biden administrations global anti-corruption efforts.
Audit Finds Switzerland Ill-Equipped in Fighting Money Laundering
A new report, published by Swiss financial authorities, found that the country is ill-equipped to handle investigating and preventing cases of money laundering. In a summary report, the Swiss Federal Audit Office (SFAO) said that the audits “revealed weaknesses and, hence, financial and reputational risks for the Swiss authorities.” The report stated that the audit found weaknesses in the anti-money laundering abilities of the government’s real estate and commodities sectors. The full report can be found here.
Russia to Legalize Cross-Border Crypto Transactions Amid Ongoing Sanctions
In an effort to mitigate the effects that ongoing sanctions are having on Russia, the nation is set to legalize cross-border cryptocurrency transactions, a practice that was once banned in the country. The move to legalize crypto transactions comes as sanctions against the nation from the West and other countries have had a negative effect on the financial health of the Russian economy. Russia’s Deputy Finance Minister Aleksey Moiseev told a Russian news outlet that improving the economy in Russia amid these sanctions would be “impossible to do without cross-border settlements in cryptocurrency.”
Crypto Platform Head Pleads Guilty in USD 100M Fraud Scheme
The head trader of cryptocurrency exchange platform EmpiresX has pleaded guilty for his involvement in a USD 100M fraud scheme. Joshua David Nicholas was indicted in June, accused of running a Ponzi scheme, along with the other platform founders, that paid investors of the company with funds from previous investors, an act that is illegal. The group also failed to register its investment activities with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Nicholas faces a maximum of five years in prison upon sentencing.
Increased Online Gambling Interest Leading to Greater Financial Crimes
The booming online gambling industry is leading to an increased threat and number of financial crimes, according to compliance experts including former Treasury Department enforcer Alma Angotti. Other compliance experts say that online gambling can be used by criminals to launder, store, and transfer illegal funds. Since 2018, many states have legalized certain types of online gambling, eager to pull in additional tax revenue through companies that offer gambling such as online sports betting. According to the American Gaming Association, 26 states have legalized online sports betting.