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 US and allies are poised to implement sweeping sanctions against Russia in light of Ukraine invasion. Read the full story and more news below:
Major Sanctions Expected Against Russia by US, Allies Amid Ukraine Invasion
The U.S. and other allies have announced potentially sweeping sanctions against Russia after their invasion and attack on Ukraine. U.S. President Biden called Russia’s attack on Ukraine “unprovoked and unjustified”, and said that sanctions against Russia would be broad and severe. Diplomats from the U.S. and its allies are in discussions about the nature of the sanctions, which could involve banks and financial sanctions, energy restrictions, export controls and more. Officials said that they hope to finalize and implemented by the end of the week.
SEC Charges Baxter International with Accounting Fraud
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission announced this week a USD 18M settled-charge penalty against Baxter International Inc., a US-based health care company, for engaging in improperly handled foreign exchange transactions, resulting in the misstatement of the company’s net income. Scott Bohaboy and Jeffrey Schaible, the company’s treasurer and assistant treasurer, also faced settled charges for their role and misconduct in the transactions.
Switzerland Financial Blacklist Movement Gains Traction
Members of the European Parliament voted their support this week of an initiative to blacklist Switzerland as a high-risk country for money laundering and other financial crimes. The initiative follows an investigation of the Credit Suisse money laundering scandal that rocked the country recently. The EU Parliament members argued that Switzerland is not doing enough to prevent banks from engaging in money laundering, or allowing their customers to engage in money laundering using their services.
Crypto Exchange Founders Plead Guilty to Anti-Money Laundering Violations
Arthur Hayes and Benjamin Delo, the founders of cryptocurrency exchange company BitMEX, have pleaded guilty this week of violating U.S. anti-money laundering laws. During a hearing this week, the two men admitted guilt in failing to perform proper checks that their exchange was used for money laundering and financial crimes, and to ignoring internal reports that their platform was being used for nefarious financial purposes. The two men are among four total executives charged in the case and have agreed to pay a USD 10M fine each for their role.