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 Justice Department vows to get tougher on white-collar crime. Read the full story and more news below:
Justice Department to Get Tougher on White-Collar Crime
In an ongoing effort to take a tougher stance on white-collar crime, particularly with repeat-offending companies in mind, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said this week that prosecutors will now consider previous wrongdoing by corporations in resolving new investigations. Previously, prosecutors were only allowed to review facts of cases with similar circumstances. This decision also arrives on the heels of another decision by the Justice Department that would allow individuals to be prosecuted alongside corporations for wrongdoing.
U.S. Adopts Stricter Rules to Prevent Money Laundering in Real Estate
New regulations are coming to U.S. property sales and transfers in order to mitigate rising money laundering instances in real estate transactions. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced the renewal of its Geographic Targeting Orders (GTOs) “that require U.S. title insurance companies to identify the natural persons behind shell companies used in all-cash purchases of residential real estate.”
Last month, A report from Global Financial Integrity said that more than USD 2.3B has been laundered through U.S. real estate over the last 5 years, making it the most prevalent industry money laundering pervades.
Facebook Shuts Down Nicaraguan Government-Run “Troll Farm”
Facebook this week shut down a state-run “troll” operation linked to the Nicaraguan government that focused on slandering its political opposition party. Facebook announced the findings of their research Monday, which uncovered more than 1,300 accounts that participated in “coordinated inauthentic behavior” on the social media platform. The accounts targeted critics of President Daniel Ortega and the Sandinista National Liberation Front and attracted nearly 785,000 followers.
NatWest Triples Profits Despite Money Laundering Fine
British bank NatWest has reported record-breaking profits of more than GBP 1B this year, despite having paid out a fine of nearly GBP 300M due to a money laundering case that embroiled the company earlier this year. The profit report surpassed analysts predictions and nearly tripled its profits from just one year ago. NatWest was fined for allegedly failing to implement strict money laundering policies, allowing its bank to be used for money laundering to the tune of more than GBP 400M.