Federal law enforcement and regulators continue to focus on technology-driven financial crime — specifically, cyber-enabled fraud and the laundering of illicit funds through cryptocurrency. Last week, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced that Eun Young Choi will serve as the first Director of the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (“NCET”). As we have blogged, the DOJ created in 2021 the NCET in order to address issues on which we repeatedly have blogged: crypto exchangers and their AML obligations; the process of tracing digital asset transactions; ransomware; so-called “professional” money launderers; and the use of crypto to launder serious crimes such as drug trafficking and human trafficking. This attempt at a coordinated government approach to crypto enforcement followed the announcement earlier in 2021 by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) of appointing its first-ever Chief Digital Currency Advisor.
Meanwhile, FinCEN has stressed the need for, and utility of, specific information to be submitted by the victims of cyber-enabled financial crime schemes, or the financial institutions of those victims, to FinCEN’s Rapid Response Program, or RRP. The RRP seeks to share financial intelligence and recover the proceeds of crime.
Continue Reading DOJ, FBI and FinCEN Continue to Focus on Crypto and Cyber Financial Crime