Breaking News for Financial Crime Professionals


Trump employees moved boxes day before DOJ went to Mar-a-Lago.  Investigators view the timing – just before FBI agents and a prosecutor visited the Florida resort to recover the documents sought as part of a subpoena – as a potential sign of obstruction. [more]

$2B Powerball winner Edwin Castro served papers at $25M California mansion in suit claiming ticket was stolen.  The suit against Castro, which was first filed earlier this year, claims he is not the rightful winner, as the ticket was bought by plaintiff Jose Rivera and soon stolen from him. [more]

Hunter Biden wooed China execs with high-level CCP ties while fundraising for movie venture while dad was VP.  A business executive on the itinerary for “Afternoon tea” was Jeffery Li, the son of one of the most powerful CCP leaders in China. [more]

New York City Officials Freeze Accounts After Banks Fail To Submit Anti-Discrimination Plans.  The latest actions are the result of new requirements introduced in February that assess banks’ commitment to non-discrimination practices in lending, employment, and other services. [more]

Treasury Sanctions the Head of the Wagner Group in Mali.  U.S. accuses the Russian private army of trying to obscure its efforts to acquire military equipment for use in Ukraine, and of working through Mali and other countries. [more]

Iran has a direct route to send Russia weapons – and Western powers can do little to stop the shipments.  The Caspian Sea route – which provides a direct path between Iran and Russia – is increasingly busy with cargo traffic. [more]

How a Pandemic-Era Program Became a Magnet for Fraud.  The Employee Retention Credit has become a magnet for fraud, creating a cottage industry of firms that falsely market themselves as tax credit specialists who can help clients – and reap huge refunds from the I.R.S. [more]

Chinese Firms That Threaten U.S. Security Get Investment from Federal Employees.  Among the companies are a leading developer of engines for fighter planes and turbines for naval ships and solar panel firms targeted for allegedly using forced labor by Uyghurs and others living in China’s western Xinjiang region. [more]

Lloyd’s Register Punishes Indian Shipping Company For Carrying Russian Oil.  Lloyd’s Register has removed the certification of 21 vessels operated by Indian shipping company Gatik Ship Management, which is one of the biggest shippers of Russian oil abroad. [more]

EU Blocks More Than €200 Billion in Russian Central Bank Assets.  Separately, the EU has been looking at powers to seize the private assets of sanctioned Russians in the event of criminal offense by extending the list of crimes, such as money-laundering and corruption, to include the evasion of EU sanctions. [more]

Coinmint Sues California Chipmaker for $23M, Alleging ‘Elaborate Deception’.  The mining firm, which has been embroiled in several legal battles, describes an elaborate fraud scheme for a $150 million contract. [more]


Russian weapons manufacturers hosted at Saudi trade event.  Seven sanctioned Russian companies, including a manufacturer of military helicopters deployed in the war in Ukraine, are visiting Saudi Arabia next week as part of a trade mission to increase business with the Gulf state. [more]

Companies are finding it’s not so simple to leave Russia.  Some international brands such as Coke and Apple are trickling in informally through third countries despite a decision to exit. [more]

Yandex to Offer Investors Choice of Russia or Foreign Assets.  Once dubbed the “Google of Russia,” Yandex is now seeking to divest of its Russian business that generates most of its revenue and spin off a handful of international startups. [more]


Credit Suisse Loses Singapore Case Against Georgian Billionaire Ivanishvili.  The ruling marks another major setback for Credit Suisse after the loss to Ivanishvili in Bermuda court, a conviction for money-laundering in Switzerland and a raft of other scandals that undermined investor confidence in the bank. [more]

Tipster on Ericsson won SEC’s largest-ever whistleblower award of $279 million.  The award from the regulator’s cash-for-tip program was related to the $1.1 billion settlement the company reached with U.S. authorities in 2019 over illegal payments to win business in five countries. [more]

German court deems raids against Russian-Uzbek oligarch unlawful.  In September, over 250 police officers searched an apparently abandoned lakeside villa in the upmarket Bavarian holiday town of Rottach-Egern as part of the investigation against Usmanov. [more]


How Crypto Can Help Secure AI.  Rapid advances in artificial intelligence create unique safety challenges. Can skills and approaches honed by the crypto community help make AI safe for humanity? [more]

Barracuda Warns of Zero-Day Exploited to Breach Email Security Gateway Appliances.  The company, which has over 200,000 global customers, did not disclose the scale of the attack. It said affected users have been directly contacted with a list of remedial actions to take. [more]

As Microsoft Embraces AI, It’s Also Calling for New Regulation to Reduce Risks.  The software giant says a new government agency could help implement laws and get ahead of potential problems. [more]


Atlantic Council: Global Sanctions Dashboard

AML Rightsource: Conversation with Don Fort, former Chief of IRS-CI

FiveBy Weekly Insights

Money Laundering Techniques Newsletter

TRM Labs Weekly Roundup

K2 Integrity: Recent Developments in Russia Sanctions


Companies Behind Malta Hospital Controversy Spent Millions on Luxuries, Payments to Director [more]

China’s New Strategy for Waging the Microchip Tech War [more]

Not So Fast: The Case For a New SWIFT [more]

Countering Violent Nonstate Actor Financing [more]

The Challenge of Export Controls [more]

The Russo-Ukrainian War and the Illegal Arms Trade [more]

Vessel Ownership, Trade Finance and Regulatory Compliance [more]

Federal Reserve Board of Governors, Financial Stability Report [more]

EU Commission: Anti-Corruption – Stronger Rules to Fight Corruption in the EU and Worldwide [more]

MONEYVAL Strategy on Anti-Money Laundering, Combating the Financing of Terrorism and Proliferation Financing (2023-2027) [more]





Global Sanctions Dashboard: What to do with sanctioned Russian assets. Western allies have blocked $58 billion worth of sanctioned Russian oligarch assets and $300 billion of sovereign assets. The location of only approximately $100 billion of blocked sovereign assets is actually known. [more]

Global Terrorism Index 2023. The tenth annual edition of the Global Terrorism Index reveals attacks are more deadly with 26% more people dying in each incident – the first rise in lethality in five years. [more]

The Growing Use of Cryptocurrencies by Transnational Organized Crime Groups in Latin America. Across Latin America, transnational criminal organizations, transnational gangs, and extra-regional actors supporting authoritarian regimes are exploiting growing cracks in the region’s weak financial regulations by transferring parts of their financial holdings to cryptocurrency, thereby avoiding detection and asset seizures. [more]

Peace and Proliferation: The Russo-Ukrainian war and the illegal arms trade. Wars create the conditions for the accumulation of weapons, often outside direct state control; the ends of wars tend to lead to an illegal outflow of those weapons into the hands of criminal and insurgent groups both within the combatant nations and beyond. [more]

FBI: Internet Crime Report 2022. Today’s cyber landscape has provided ample opportunities for criminals and adversaries to target U.S. networks, attack our critical infrastructure, hold our money and data for ransom, facilitate large-scale fraud schemes, and threaten our national security. [more]



Kim Zetter / Brian Krebs / Nicole Perlroth /
Josh Rogin / Ellen Nakashima / Juan Guaidó / Matt Levitt /
Clarissa Ward / Gary Kasparov / Joseph Cox / Mark Dubowitz
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya / Bill Browder / Jen Easterly /
Zack Kopplin / Laura Shin / Dmitri Alperovitch / Tom Keatinge
Catherine Belton / Nazanin Boniadi / Chris Krebs /
Kevin Hall / Farnaz Fassihi / Kevin Collier / Patrick Howell O’Neill /
Michael McFaul / Jonathan Schanzer / Catalin Cimpanu /
Liza Lin / Enes Kanter FREEDOM / Bianna Golodryga



Financial Action Task Force /
Egmont Group /
Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project /
International Consortium of Investigative Journalists /
Money Laundering Watch/

Combating Terrorism Center/



Lunacy: The Rise and Fall of Do Kwon [more]

I’m the Real John Connor [more]

Max Tegmark: The Case for Halting AI Development [more]

Countries for Sale: Latvia? [more]

AML Conversations: Interview with Ryan Wallerstein of Illicit Edge [more]

Click Here: Mexico, Spyware, and a Secret Military Intelligence Unit [more]

RUSI’s Suspicious Transaction Report: The Financial Dimensions of State Threats [more]

Hacker and The Fed: Fake Google Ads, Law Firms Under Attack, And The White House Announces New National Cybersecurity Strategy [more]

Lawfare: A New Sanctions Approach for Humanitarian Assistance [more]



From Russia With Gold: UAE Cashes In As Sanctions Bite.  Records that contain details of nearly a thousand gold shipments in the year since the Ukraine war started show the Gulf state imported 75 tons of Russian gold worth $4.3 billion – up from just 1.3 tons during 2021. [more]

Russian accused of money laundering lobbies to be included in potential US-Russia prisoner swap.  The Russian man, Alexander Vinnik, is accused of running a multibillion-dollar cryptocurrency exchange that allegedly did business with drug dealers and identity thieves. He was extradited from France to California last year. [more] 

China Hacks US Critical Networks in Guam, Raising Cyberwar Fears.  To remain stealthy, the hackers use tools already installed or built into infected devices that are manually controlled by the attackers rather than being automated, a technique known as “living off the land.” [more]

US State Department’s top China policy official to step down.  Some Biden administration critics have questioned US overtures to Beijing, arguing that past decades of engagement have failed to change China’s actions on a range of trade, security and human rights issues. [more]

IRS veteran goes public as whistleblower in Hunter Biden criminal probe.  Gary Shapley, who was recently removed from the Justice Department investigation, opened up ahead of a scheduled meeting with the House Ways and Means Committee Friday. [more]

Biden administration sanctions al-Shabab leaders for charcoal smuggling, terrorism.  The U.S. sanctioned 26 individuals and entities tied to the Somali terror group al-Shabab in a sweeping action that targeted illegal charcoal smuggling from the African country. [more]

US Senate Republicans reintroduce bill to sanction enablers of ‘terror groups’ in Palestine.  The “Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad International Terrorism Support Prevention Act” would impose sanctions on individuals or “foreign states” that “knowingly assist, sponsor, or provide significant support for the terrorist activities of Hamas or PIJ”. [more] 

Confidential Report Flags Bitfinex Security Lapses in Huge 2016 Hack.  In the space of barely more than three hours in August 2016, over 119,000 bitcoins were quietly siphoned out of wallets on the Bitfinex cryptocurrency exchange. Before anyone had noticed, the crypto – worth $71 million at the time – was gone. [more]

Bank of Russia Chief Visits Iran in Rare Trip Abroad Since War.  Feted as one of the world’s best monetary policymakers before the February 2022 invasion, she is now shunned by counterparts in the US and Europe as she has worked to stabilize the ruble and manage the economic fallout from international sanctions on Russia. [more]

DOJ Says More Companies Are Voluntarily Disclosing Possible Wrongdoing.  Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite Jr. said the criminal division has already seen an increase in the number of corporate disclosures since the announcement of an expanded policy. [more] 

Cancun is Banning ‘Narco’ Concerts as Violence Soars.  Performances by El Komander, Grupo Firme, El Millonario and Alemán were recently cancelled in the tourist resort in an attempt to discourage the drug-related violence that is raging. [more]

Chinese Labs Are Selling Fentanyl Ingredients for Millions in Crypto.  Researchers at Elliptic found more than 90 Chinese chemical companies that sold fentanyl “precursor” chemicals and advertised their products on the open web, fully 90 percent of which offered to accept payment in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Tether. [more]

Bloody red carpet: Assad returns to international stage with Arab League welcome.  The Biden administration and top White House officials have condemned the move, vowing to continue its policy of keeping Syria an international pariah. [more]


Putin’s Central Bank Is Also on the Battlefield in Ukraine.  Sergey Belov’s role in charge of what are known as “field institutions” that effectively channel funding from the state budget to combat troops draws little attention. Unlike Governor Elvira Nabiullina, he isn’t under international sanctions. [more] 

After Iran Deals, Indian Lender Spurs Rupee Trade With Russia.  A state-run bank India used to skirt sanctions is spurring trade with Russia by using Rupees as payment and expects to see more deals as Moscow gets increasingly locked out of the global financial system. [more]

The World’s Oil Map Is Being Redrawn by Rising Russian Flows to Asia.  The reshaping of flows testifies to the flux in the world’s most important commodity market, where global demand runs at about 100 million barrels a day, with growth led by India and China. [more]


Russian Prime Minister Gets an Awkward Reception on Trip to China.  Top officials and managers of major Chinese companies declined to meet with him and his colleagues, many of whom are sanctioned in the West due to Russia’s war in Ukraine. [more]

How US farmland became a battleground in the fight against China.  In the past couple of months, lawmakers in more than two dozen states have passed or considered legislation restricting Chinese purchases of U.S. farmland. [more] 

Driver’s Licenses, Addresses, Photos: Inside How TikTok Shares User Data.  Employees of the Chinese-owned video app have regularly posted user information on a messaging and collaboration tool called Lark. [more]

China was reducing Micron chip purchases years before ban.  In the years before China declared U.S. firm Micron Technology’s products a national security risk, authorities were already scaling back purchases of its chips, opting instead for domestic or South Korean options. [more]


Double Trouble: Lebanon’s Salameh gets second arrest warrant from Germany.  Riad Salameh is under increased scrutiny in Europe on suspicions of money laundering at a time Lebanon is grappling with a deteriorating financial and economic crisis. [more] 

Sanctions cause rising business fears in Ukraine.  Moves against Ukraine’s most successful companies are raising eyebrows – not just in Kyiv – and risk deterring foreign investors, adding to behind-the-scenes worry regarding the country’s seemingly endemic and intractable corruption problem. [more]

Ericsson beats US shareholder lawsuit over graft disclosures.  Swedish telecoms company Ericsson beat a lawsuit by U.S. shareholders on Wednesday, when a federal judge ruled it did not mislead investors about its compliance with U.S. anti-bribery laws. [more]


Shaquille O’Neal finally served in FTX lawsuit while covering Celtics-Heat in Miami.  O’Neal, who has been apparently “dodging” lawyers representing FTX investors for months, was finally served a complaint Tuesday that’s part of a proposed class-action lawsuit filed against the failed cryptocurrency company. [more]

Telecom company sued by nearly every state over billions of robocalls.  Attorneys general from almost every state in the U.S. filed a lawsuit Tuesday against Avid Telecom, a company accused of making more than 7.5 billion robocalls to people on the National Do Not Call Registry. [more]

Pegasus spyware found on phones of Mexican president’s close ally.  Pegasus has been found on the cellphones of Alejandro Encinas, the undersecretary for human rights in Mexico’s Government Ministry, and at least two other people in his office. [more]

Montenegro Court Says Terra Founder Do Kwon Should Remain in Jail.  One of Montenegro’s higher courts overrode a separate decision to grant bail to the failed founder of the Terra/Luna crypto ecosystem. [more]



Cryptocurrency Regulation Tracker Atlantic Council

COMTRADE: Using Trade Data to Uncover Fraud and Smuggling OCCRP

2022 Rule of Law Index World Justice Project

Global Organized Crime Index Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime

Anti-Corruption Helpdesk Transparency International

Flight Intelligence for Investigators Icarus Flights, C4ADS

Global Legislative Map: Violent Extremist and Terrorist-Related Online Content Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism

Basel AML Index Map Basel Institute on Governance

Scorched Earth: Using NASA Fire Data to Monitor War Zones Bellingcat

Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)

State Department

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency

Federal Reserve

Department of Justice

Commerce Department

Securities and Exchange Commission

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Federal Trade Commission

NY Department of Financial Services

Commodity Futures Trading Commission

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

HM Treasury

European Union

United Nations




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