Farewell to 2020.  Although it was an extremely difficult year, let’s still look back — because 2020 was yet another busy year in the world of money laundering and BSA/AML compliance.

We are highlighting 12 of our most-read blog posts from 2020, which address many of the key issues we’ve examined during the past year — financial institution scandals; fraud relating to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Paycheck Protection Program; beneficial ownership and shell companies; BSA/AML reform; cryptocurrency; cannabis; money laundering prosecutions; the use of art, real estate and other high-end assets to launder illicit proceeds; the role of professionals in money laundering schemes; civil lawsuits arising from alleged AML failures; and broad policy and social questions implicated by AML concerns, including human trafficking and the illegal wildlife trade.

We move on to 2021, which hopefully will be a better year for many.  2021 certainly will be an important and interesting year for BSA/AML and money laundering issues, particularly given the passage on New Year’s Day, over a Presidential veto, of massive and historic legislative change to the Bank Secrecy Act.  The true consequences of this legislation will unfold over time, but it inevitably will impact significantly financial institutions, compliance departments, executives, professionals, regulators and law enforcement for many years.  We look forward to keeping you informed throughout 2021 on these and other developments.

We also want to thank our many readers around the world who continue to make this blog such a success. The feedback we receive from financial industry professionals, compliance officers, in-house and external lawyers, BSA/AML consultants, government personnel, journalists, and others interested in this field is invaluable, and we hope you will continue to share your perspectives with us.  We pride ourselves on providing in-depth discussions of the important developments in this ever-evolving area.

We also would like to thank the other platforms that host our blog: Money Laundering BulletinDigital Currency & Ledger Defense Coalition, and Federal Tax Crimes.

If you would like to subscribe to Money Laundering Watch, please click here. To learn more about Ballard Spahr’s Anti-Money Laundering Team, please click here.