Global and domestic initiatives to prevent and detect money laundering, fraud, and the financing of terrorism are continuing to extend their scope. As these efforts expand, we would like to provide our clients and friends with a resource to discuss trends and developments in enforcement, compliance, and policy. Nearly a dozen federal agencies regulate Anti-Money Laundering (AML) efforts—and penalties for noncompliance range from fines, forfeitures, and indictments to the loss of reputation, stock value, and licenses to participate in the market.

The burden of that scrutiny falls largely to financial institutions, which must develop policies and procedures to identify potential money laundering, fraud, trade embargo violations, tax evasion, and other criminal activity, and report suspicious activity to the government. Affected industries include banks, broker/dealers, casinos, residential mortgage lenders, prepaid account providers, and money transmitters. Sometimes scrutiny can fall upon individual executives, owners, and other professionals.

Money Laundering Watch is a blog focused on covering the latest news and developments in the area—and providing the analysis to help you put it all in context. Our bloggers provide insight on compliance and enforcement trends, federal and state actions, regulatory developments, significant cases, and international efforts.

Our bloggers are attorneys who represent financial institutions—from global banks to smaller enterprises and internet-based providers. They draw on firsthand experience in industry and government to help clients establish and refine AML procedures, advise on customer identification and due diligence, handle government exam preparation and response, conduct internal investigations, respond to enforcement actions, and defend institutions against civil lawsuits by court-appointment receivers, investors and consumers alleging that the institution harmed the plaintiffs because it failed to prevent a fraud or Ponzi scheme by failing to follow through on its BSA/AML duties. They also represent individuals caught up in money laundering and monetary reporting investigations and litigation.

They are on the front lines, helping financial institutions and professionals navigate the world of financial corruption.


Peter D. | 215.864.8838 | view full bio

Peter is a national thought leader on money laundering, tax fraud, and other financial crime. He is the author of Criminal Tax, Money Laundering, and Bank Secrecy Act Litigation, a well-reviewed and comprehensive legal treatise published by Bloomberg BNA.

He advises corporations and individuals from many industries against allegations of misconduct ranging from money laundering, tax fraud, mortgage fraud and lending law violations, securities fraud, public corruption, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations, and other financial fraud. He also advises on compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and AML requirements, and leads the firm’s Anti-Money Laundering team. Peter co-chairs the Practising Law Institute’s Anti-Money Laundering program, and serves on the Steering Committee for the Cambridge Forum on Sanctions & AML Compliance.

Peter spent more than a decade as a federal prosecutor before entering private practice, serving as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Philadelphia working on financial crime cases, and as a trial attorney for the Criminal Section of the Department of Justice’s Tax Division in Washington, D.C.

.Beth Moskow-Schnoll | | 302.252.4447 | view full bio

Beth is the Managing Partner of the firm’s Delaware office. She is a litigator focused on white collar crime, regulatory enforcement and compliance, and complex civil litigation, with an emphasis on banking and other financial services litigation. She represents major financial institutions, bringing actions against fraudulent debt relief companies, and defending against consumer financial services lawsuits.

Before joining Ballard Spahr, Beth was a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware for more than a decade. She investigated and prosecuted financial fraud, including money laundering, bank and credit card fraud, asset forfeiture, and tax offenses.

Terence M. Grugan | | 215.864.8320 | view full bio

Terence’s practice focuses on representing clients involved in criminal, regulatory, and administrative investigations and litigation, and in civil litigation matters involving the federal securities laws and other allegations of fraudulent business practices. He represents financial institution clients in matters implicating their practices under the BSA and related AML laws, including compliance program advice, internal investigations, regulatory examinations, and related civil litigation.

Marjorie J. | 646.346.8039 | view full bio

Margie is a litigator who, in her more than 30 years of practice, has handled matters across the criminal and regulatory spectrum including white collar criminal defense, regulatory matters, and complex civil litigation. Her work includes cases arising from alleged violations of the Internal Revenue Code, the FCPA, the BSA, and a broad range of fraud investigations.  Margie founded Ballard’s Blockchain Techonology and Cryptocurrency team, which she co-leads.

She represents numerous individuals in several AML/BSA investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice and has represented a financial institution in a matter implicating BSA issues. She has handled matters involving Suspicious Activity Reports and Currency Transaction Reports and structuring-related offenses and she has represented individuals accused of money laundering offenses. Margie has also handled a significant number of matters with the SEC, FINRA, and the CFTC.

Izabella Babchinetskaya | | 215.864.8315 | view full bio

Izabella represents clients, including financial institutions, in complex civil litigation, including cases involving allegations of fraud and claims turning on alleged violations of the BSA. Prior to joining Ballard Spahr, Izabella volunteered with the Environmental Crimes Section of the Department of Justice and interned with the Honorable Joel H. Slomsky of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Andrew N. D’Aversa | | 215.864.8388 | view full bio

Andrew focuses his practice in matters involving white collar defense/internal investigations and complex civil litigation.  His work includes cases involving allegations of money laundering and fraud schemes committed through financial institutions.  His work in the BSA/AML sphere also extends to advising clients on state money services statutes and regulations relating to virtual currency and related products.  Andrew has served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Noah L. Hillman of the U.S. District Court for the District of New jersey, and to the Honorable Anthony J. Sirica for the U.S. Court of Appeals of the Third Circuit.

Brad Gershel | | 646.346.8034 | view full bio

gershel_bradley_1Brad focuses his practice on representing individuals and companies in white-collar criminal and civil matters, including government inquiries and internal investigations. Brad has significant experience in a wide range of enforcement, criminal and regulatory matters, including those relating to fraud, foreign bribery, and public corruption. His experience spans multiple state and federal law enforcement agencies, including the DOJ, FINRA, SEC, and New York County District Attorney’s Office. Additionally, he has represented clients in criminal and regulatory investigations for alleged violations of the False Claims Act and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Nicholas Kato | |  215.864.8330 | view full bio

Nick focuses on white collar defense and the defense of financial institutions and other companies in civil litigation.  Prior to attending law school, Nick worked as an investigator who sought justice for wrongfully convicted prisoners. He located witnesses and evidence for trial and appellate court petitions and developed trial strategy and innocence case theories with attorneys.

Brian Kearney | |  215.864.8265 | view full bio

Brian focuses his practice on white collar criminal and civil matters. His white collar practice includes providing advice on AML and BSA litigation and compliance, including matters involving suspicious activity reports.  Brian previously clerked for Judges Renée M. Bumb and Noel L. Hillman of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Alexa L. Levy | |  215.864.8278 | view full bio

Alexa focuses her practice on white collar defense and consumer financial services, including the defense of financial institutions accused of having enabled alleged fraud schemes perpetrated by former customers against investors, consumers, and others.  Alexa has published on the topic of crimes against humanity and genocide.

Shauna Pierson | | 215.864.8243 | view full bio

Shauna advises financial institution clients on BSA/AML regulatory compliance. She also maintains an active emerging growth practice, which includes counseling start-up companies in the cannabis, hemp and CBD sectors. During law school, Shauna served an internship with the Youth Sentencing and Reentry Project, where she assisted juvenile offenders previously sentenced to life incarceration with reentry planning as they prepared to return to their communities.  Shauna currently is seconded to a major international bank where she advises the Board of Directors on corporate governance issues.