Stricter Sanctions Enforcement Coming to U.K.

Brad Fulton

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, stricter enforcement of sanctions will hit the U.K. soon. Read the full story and more news below:

Top Story

Stricter Sanctions Enforcement Coming to U.K.

Beginning June 15, a stricter set of standards surrounding sanctions enforcement will go live in the UK. The new measures state that the U.K.’s Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation will no longer have to prove that a company or individual knew about a sanctions violation that broke the rules. Instead, the OFSI will only have to prove that a violation occurred. This shift will allow the OFSI easier enforcement of sanctions violations. 

Business

BitMEX Co-Founder Sentenced on Money Laundering Charges

Benjamin Delo, co-founder of the cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX was sentenced this week to 30 months probation for violating U.S. anti-money laundering laws. Delo was also ordered to pay a USD 10M fine as part of his sentence. Prosectors say that the Seychelles-based cryptocurrency platform sought to ban U.S. users after realizing that they then would have to follow U.S. laws if they hosted U.S. customers. Enforcement officials say that the company failed to properly screen its users and allowed hundreds of U.S. users to use the platform.

FTC Investigates Startup Mental Health Company Cerebral

The Federal Trade Commission is investigating the mental health startup Cerebral, who are accused of engaging in deceptive and unfair marketing and advertising practices. The deceptive practices relate to complaints by several customers who said that after signing up for the service, cancellation proved difficult, with several messages sent to the company requesting cancellation that were ignored. Cerebral has also faced questions in the past about its practicing regarding the diagnosing and prescribing of drugs meant to treat ADHD.

Government

US and UK Partner to Help Develop New Anti-Money Laundering Tech

The governments of the U.S. and U.K. are teaming up to develop and help spur innovation for new tech in the fight against money laundering. The countries, which both require financial institutions to actively detect and report cases of money laundering, are putting together a “prize challenge” for the most innovative new developments in anti-money laundering tech. The challenge is said to open this summer, with winners announced some time in 2023.

US Extends Sanctions Exemption for Energy Payments to Russia

The United States has said that it will allow payments for energy services from Russia to continue through December 5, 2022. The new timeline would allow a more reasonable ramp up to a total embargo on Russian oil, especially for countries that are more heavily dependent on fossil fuels from the nation. The embargo and sanctions against Russian energy came amidst the invasion of Ukraine by Russia which began earlier this year.