ACAMS Assoc Certified Anti Money Laundering Specialist Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in ACAMS Assoc Certified Anti Money Laundering Specialist Deck (115):

Describe the three phases of money laundering.

• Placement is the physical disposal of cash or other assets derived from criminal activity.
• Layering is the separation of illicit proceeds from their source by layers of financial transactions intended to conceal the origin of the proceeds.
• Integration is supplying apparent legitimacy to illicit wealth through the re-entry of the funds into the economy in what appears to be normal business or personal transactions.


Describe four types of risk associated with money laundering faced by a financial institution.

• Reputational risk is described as the potential that adverse publicity regarding an organization’s business practices and associations, whether accurate or not, will cause a loss of public confidence in the integrity of the
• Operational risk is described as the potential for loss resulting from inadequate internal processes, personnel or systems or from external events.
• Legal risk is the potential for lawsuits, adverse judgments, unenforceable contracts, fines and penalties generating losses, increased expenses for an
organization, or even the closure of the organization.
• Concentration risk is the potential for loss resulting from too much credit or loan exposure to one borrower or
group of borrowers.


What are the economic effects of money laundering?

• Loss of control of, or mistakes in, decisions regarding economic policy,
• Economic distortion and instability,
• Loss of tax revenue,
• Risks to privatization efforts,
• Reputation risk for the country, and
• Social costs.


What factors may contribute to the vulnerabilities of private banking with regard to money laundering?

• Perceived high profitability,
• Intense competition,
• Powerful clientele,
• The high level of confidentiality associated with private banking,
• The close relationship of trust developed between relationship managers and their clients,
• Commission-based compensation for relationship managers,
• A culture of secrecy and discretion developed by the relationship managers for their clients, and
• The relationship managers becoming client advocates to protect their clients.


Describe microstructuring.

Designing a transaction to evade triggering a reporting or recordkeeping requirement is called “structuring.” Microstructuring is essentially the same as structuring, except that it is done at a much smaller level. Instead of taking $18,000 and breaking it into two deposits, the microstructurer might break it into 20 deposits of approximately $900 each. This level of structuring makes it extremely difficult to detect.


According to FATF, what three circumstances should be kept in mind when dealing with possible cuckoo smurfing

• The existence of these deposits is not necessarily grounds to reconsider the relationship with a customer.
• It could be the indicator of laundering, therefore it should be examined carefully.
• Law enforcement will need information on the depositor, so banks should seek to identify cash deposits made by third parties and should retain surveillance footage.


How can art and antiques dealers and auctioneers mitigate their money laundering risks?

• Require all art vendors to provide names and addresses. Ask that they sign and date a form that states that the item was not stolen and that they are authorized to sell it.
• Verify the identities and addresses of new vendors and customers.
• If there is reason to believe an item might be stolen, immediately contact the Art Loss Register (www., the world’s
largest private database of stolen art.
• Look critically when a customer asks to pay in cash.
• Be aware of money laundering regulations.
• Appoint a senior staff member to whom employees can report suspicious activities.


Identify three ways money laundering can occur through vehicle sellers.

The industry defined as "vehicle sellers" includes sellers and brokers of new vehicles, such as automobiles, trucks, and motorcycles; new aircraft, including fixed wing airplanes and helicopters; new boats and ships, and used vehicles. Laundering risks and ways laundering can occur through vehicle sellers include:
• Structuring cash deposits below the reporting threshold, or purchasing vehicles with sequentially numbered checks or money orders,
• Trading in vehicles and conducting successive transactions of buying and selling new and used vehicles to produce complex layers of transactions,
• Accepting third-party payments, particularly from jurisdictions with ineffective money laundering controls.


Describe several ways commodity futures and options accounts may be susceptible to money laundering.

There are several ways commodity and futures accounts are susceptible to money laundering, including:
• Withdrawal of assets through transfers to unrelated accounts or to high-risk countries,
• Frequent additions to or withdrawals from accounts,
• Checks drawn on, or wire transfers from, accounts of third parties with no relation to the client,
• Clients who request custodial arrangements that allow them to remain anonymous,
• Transfers of funds to the adviser for management followed by transfers to accounts at other institutions in a layering scheme,
• Investing illegal proceeds for a client, and
• Movement of funds to disguise their origin.


How does having a lawyer as a trustee on an account at a financial institution create vulnerabilities to money laundering at an institution?

Lawyers often serve as trustees by holding money or assets “in trust” for clients. This enables lawyers to conduct transactions and to administer the affairs of a client.
Sometimes, the illicit money is placed in a law firm’s general trust account in a file set up in the name of the client, a nominee, or a company controlled by the client.


Why are bearer bonds and bearer stock certificates prime vehicles for money laundering?

Bearer bonds and bearer stock certificates, or “bearer shares,” are prime money laundering vehicles because they belong, on the surface, to the “bearer.” When bearer securities are transferred, because there is no registry of owners, the transfer takes place by physically handing over the bonds or share certificates. Bearer shares offer lots of opportunities to disguise their legitimate ownership.


What is the most basic difference between terrorist financing and money laundering?

The most basic difference between terrorist financing and money laundering involves the origin of the funds. Terrorist financing uses funds for an illegal political purpose, but the money is not necessarily derived from illicit proceeds. On the other hand, money laundering always involves the proceeds of illegal activity. The purpose of laundering is to enable the money to be used legally.


What characteristics of charities or non-profit organizations make them particularly vulnerable to misuse for terrorist financing?

• Enjoying the public trust,
• Having access to considerable sources of funds,
• Being cash-intensive,
• Frequently having a global presence, often in or next to those areas that are exposed to terrorist activity, and
• Often being subject to little or no regulation and/or having few obstacles to their creation.


Identify the three important tasks that FATF focuses on.

• Spreading the anti-money laundering message worldwide,
• Monitoring implementation of the FATF Recommendations among FATF members, and
• Reviewing money laundering trends and countermeasures.


According to the FATF 40 Recommendations, the complete set of countermeasures against money laundering and terrorist financing covers what 5 elements?

• The identification of risks and development of appropriate policies,
• The criminal justice system and law enforcement,
• The financial system and its regulation,
• The transparency of legal persons and arrangements, and
• International cooperation.


Describe FATF's Recommendations 20-21 (2012) on suspicious transaction reporting and liability.

The Recommendations say that financial institutions must report to the Financial Intelligence Unit where they suspect or have reasonable grounds to suspect that funds are the proceeds of a criminal activity or are related to terrorist financing. The financial institutions and the employees reporting such suspicions should be protected from liability for reporting and should be prohibited from disclosing that they have reported such activity.


According to FATF's Recommendations (2012), what are the designated thresholds for transactions under Recommendations 10, 22, and 23?

FATF also designated specific thresholds that trigger AML scrutiny. For example, the threshold that financial institutions should monitor for occasional customers is €15,000 [Recommendation 10]; for casinos, including Internet casinos, it is €3,000 [Recommendation 22]; and
for dealers in precious metals, when engaged in any cash transaction, it is €15,000 [Recommendation 22-23].


In 2009, FATF began to publicly identify high risk jurisdictions. What made the named jurisdictions high risk?

The named countries had strategic deficiencies in their AML/CFT regimes.


Describe the elements that should be addressed in a global approach to KYC identified in the Basel Committee's October 2004 paper called "Consolidated KYC Risk Management."

The Basel Committee's October 2004 paper called "Consolidated KYC Risk Management" addresses the need for banks to adopt a global approach and to apply the elements necessary for a sound KYC program to both the parent bank or head office and all of its branches and subsidiaries. These elements consist of:
• Risk management,
• Customer acceptance and identification policies, and
• Ongoing monitoring of higher-risk accounts.


How did the European Union's Second Directive on Prevention on the Use of the Financial System for the Purpose of Money Laundering (2001) expand the scope of the First Directive?

The European Union's Second Directive on Preventation on the Use of the Financial System for the Purpose of Money Laundering (2001) extended the scope of the First Directive beyond drug-related crimes. The definition of “criminal activity” was expanded to cover not just drug trafficking, but all serious crimes, including corruption and fraud against the financial interests of the European Community.


How does the scope of the European Union's Third Money Laundering Directive differ from the Second Money Laundering Directive?

• It specifically includes the category of trust and company service providers,
• It covers all dealers trading in goods who trade in cash over 15,000 Euros, and
• The definition of financial institution includes certain insurance intermediaries.


According to Section 312 of the USA Patriot Act, the due diligence program for correspondent and private banking accounts must address what three measures?

The due diligence program for foreign correspondent and private banking accounts for non-U.S. persons must include “appropriate, specific and risk-based,” and, where necessary, enhanced policies, procedures and controls reasonably designed to identify and report suspected money laundering in a correspondent account maintained in the United States. This due diligence program must also be included in the institution’s anti-money laundering program.
The due diligence program must address three measures:
• Determining whether enhanced due diligence is necessary,
• Assessing the money laundering risk presented by the correspondent account,
• Applying risk-based procedures and controls reasonably designed to detect and report suspected money laundering.


How is a private banking account defined under Section 312 of the USA Patriot Act?

Under Section 312 of the USA Patriot Act, a private banking account is defined as an account with a minimum aggregate deposit of $1 million for one or more non-U.S. persons and which is assigned to a bank employee acting as a liaison with the non-U.S. person.


Why is the risk-based approach more preferable than a prescriptive approach in the area of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing?

• Flexible — as money laundering and terrorist financing risks vary across jurisdictions, customers, products and delivery channels, and over time,
• Effective — as companies are better equipped than legislators to effectively assess and mitigate the particular money laundering and terrorist financing risks they face, and
• Proportionate — because a risk-based approach promotes a common sense and intelligent approach to fighting money laundering and terrorist financing as opposed to a “check the box” approach. It also allows firms to minimize the adverse impact of anti-money laundering procedures on their low-risk customers.


What are the basic elements of financial institution's anti-money laundering program?

• A system of internal policies, procedures and controls,
• A designated compliance officer with day-to-day oversight over the AML program,
• An ongoing employee training program, and
• An independent audit function to test the AML program.


Identify, in general, who should approve policies and procedures.

Policies and procedures should be in writing, and must be approved by appropriate levels of management. In general, institution-level policies should be approved by the board, while business unit procedures can be approved by business unit management.


Identify the responsibilities of the anti-money laundering compliance officer.

A person should be designated as the anti-money laundering compliance officer. This individual should be responsible for designing and implementing the program, making necessary changes and disseminating information about the program’s successes and failures to key staff members, constructing anti-money laundering-related content for staff training programs and staying current on legal and regulatory developments in the field.


Describe how the independent audit should review Suspicious Transaction Reporting (STR) systems.

The independent audit should review Suspicious Transaction Reporting (STR) systems, which should include an evaluation of the research and referral of unusual transactions. Testing should include a review of policies, procedures and processes for referring unusual or suspicious activity from all business lines (e.g., legal, private banking, foreign correspondent banking) to the personnel or department responsible for evaluating unusual activity.


Are the costs of non-compliance with anti-money laundering laws and regulations limited to fines and penalties levied by regulators?

The cost of the fines and penalties levied by regulators due to non-compliance with anti-money laundering laws and regulations is only part of the overall expense. Significant additional costs include legal bills, potential
loss of business due to reputational damage, extensive compliance review charges, consulting fees, costs for system and other compliance program enhancements, as well as the opportunity costs as the compliance staff and others will be spending the bulk of their time addressing the consent order.


How can senior management show its commitment to compliance with anti-money laundering laws and regulations?

• Establishing a strong compliance plan that is approved by the board of directors and is fully implemented,
• Insisting that it be kept informed of compliance efforts, audit reports and any compliance failures, with corrective
measures instituted,
• Communicating compliance expectations to the institution personnel,
• Including regulatory compliance within the job descriptions and job performance evaluations of institution personnel,
• Implementing procedures, processes and controls to ensure compliance with the AML program, and
• Conditioning employment on regulatory compliance.


Identify several types of internal reports financial institutions may use to discover money laundering
and terrorist financing.

• Daily cash activity in excess of the country’s reporting threshold,
• Daily cash activity just below the country’s reporting threshold (to identify possible structuring),
• Cash activity aggregated over a period of time (e.g., individual transactions over a certain amount, or totaling more than a certain
amount over a 30-day period) to identify possible structuring,
• Wire transfer reports/logs (with filters using amount and geographical factors),
• Monetary instrument logs/reports,
• Check kiting/drawing on uncollected funds (significant debit/credit flows),
• Significant change reports, and
• New account activity reports.


Describe a typical suspicious or unusual transaction reporting process within a financial institution.

While reporting procedures vary from country to country, a typical suspicious or unusual transaction reporting process within a financial institution includes:
• Procedures to identify potential suspicious transactions or activity,
• A formal evaluation of each instance, and continuation, of unusual transactions or activity,
• Documentation of the suspicious transaction reporting decision, whether or not filed with the authorities,
• Procedures to periodically notify senior management or the board of directors of suspicious transaction filings, and
• Employee training on detecting suspicious transactions or activities.


According to the 1999 U.S. Customs "trade advisory" titled "The Black Market Peso Exchange," what are the three red flags as indicators of BMPE?

• Payment made in cash by a third party with no connection to the underlying transaction,
• Payment made by wire transfers from third parties unconnected to the underlying transaction, and
• Payment made with checks, bank drafts or money orders not drawn on the account of the purchaser.


ABC Bank was served with a subpoena compelling the production of certain documents on a personal checking account. Describe the steps the bank should consider taking upon receipt of the subpoena.

If an institution is served with a summons or subpoena compelling the production of certain documents, the institution should have its senior management and/or counsel review the summons or subpoena. If there are no grounds for contesting the summons or subpoena, the institution should take all appropriate measures to comply with the summons or subpoena on a timely and complete basis. Failure to do so can result in adverse action and penalties for the institution. Also, the financial institution should not notify the customer who is being investigated. If the government asks the bank to keep certain accounts open, such a request should be obtained in writing under proper letterhead and authority from the government.


ABC Bank was served with a search warrant. What next steps should the Bank consider?

1. Call the financial institution's in-house or outside counsel,
2. Review the warrant to understand its scope,
3. Ask for and obtain a copy of the warrant,
4. Ask for a copy of the affidavit that supports the search warrant (the agents are not obligated to provide a copy of the affidavit, but, if a financial institution is allowed to see the affidavit, the financial institution can learn more about the purpose of the investigation),
5. Remain present while the agents record an inventory of all items they seize and remove from the premises. Keep track of the records taken by the agents,
6. Ask for a copy of law enforcement's inventory of what they have seized, and
7. Write down the names and agency affiliations of the agents who conduct the search.


How should a financial institution monitor the receipt of a subpoena, summons, or other government request?

When an institution receives a subpoena, summons or other government request, the institution should do more than just produce the records or information being sought. Financial institutions should ensure that all grand jury subpoenas, as well as other information requests from government agencies, are reviewed by senior management, an investigations group or counsel to determine how best to respond to the inquiry and to determine if the inquiry or the underlying activity might pose a risk to the institution. In addition, the institution should maintain a centralized control over all requests and responses in order to ensure that the requests are responded to on a complete and timely basis and to establish a complete record of what is provided.
This centralized record will also assist with regard to the institution’s own internal investigation.


The checking account for XYZ Trading LTD, a company registered in the British Virgin Islands, was identified on a government subpoena issued to International Bank. The Bank has initiated an internal investigation on the account and its beneficial owners. What factors should the Bank consider on whether to close the account?

Based on its internal investigation, the institution should make an independent determination as to whether to close the account in issue. Some of the factors that the institution should consider are as follows:
• The legal basis for closing an account,
• The institution’s stated policies and procedures for closing an account,
• How serious is the underlying conduct. If the conduct is serious and rises to the level where the account would ordinarily be closed,
then the institution should consider closing the account, or
• As stated above, if law enforcement requests the institution to keep the account open, the institution should request that the investigator or prosecutor make that request in writing on proper government agency letterhead with the appropriate authorized signature.


If an institution decides to file an STR, what should they do as soon as possible?

Notify the investigators or prosecutors.


What type of documents would a financial institution have that could assist a financial investigator in tracking money movements?

A financial investigator’s main objective is to track the movement of money, whether through a bank, broker-dealer, money services business or casino. For example, banks maintain signature cards, which are collected at the opening of an account, account statements, deposit tickets, checks and withdrawal items and credit and debit memorandums.
Banks also keep records on loans, cashier’s checks, certified checks, traveler’s checks and money orders. They exchange currency, cash third-party checks, and conduct wire transfers, as do most money services businesses. Banks also keep safe-deposit boxes and issue credit cards.


What are the steps commonly taken to obtain mutual legal assistance?

1. The central authority of the requesting country sends a “commission rogatoire” (letter rogatory, or letter of request) to the central authority of the other country. The letter includes the information sought, the nature of the request, the criminal charges in the requesting country
and the legal provision under which the request is made,
2. The central authority that receives the request sends it to a local financial investigator to find out if the information is available,
3. An investigator from the requesting country then visits the country where the information is sought, and accompanies the local
investigator during visits or when statements are taken,
4. The investigator asks the central authority for permission to remove the evidence to the requesting country,
5. The central authority sends the evidence to the requesting central authority, thereby satisfying the request for mutual legal assistance, and
6. Local witnesses may need to attend court hearings in the requesting country.


Identify the three gateways that assist with the AML cooperation between countries.

• Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties,
• Financial Intelligence Units, and
• The Supervisory Channel.


Recommendations 36-40 from FATF's 40 Recommendations pertain specifically to the international aspects of money laundering and terrorist financing investigations. What are Recommendations 36?40?

Recommendations 36-40 deal with mutual legal assistance treaties, extradition, confiscation of assets and mechanisms to exchange information internationally.


What is a commission rogatoire?

Also known as letter rogatory, commission rogatoire is a written request for legal or judicial assistance sent by the central authority of one country to the central authority of another when seeking evidence from the foreign jurisdiction. The letter typically specifies the nature of the request, the relevant criminal charges in the requesting country, the legal provision under which the request is made, and the information sought.


What is a country's extraterritorial reach?

The extension of one country’s policies and laws to the citizens and institutions of another. U.S. money laundering laws contain several provisions that extend its prohibitions and sanctions into other countries. For example, the “extraterritorial jurisdiction” of the principal U.S. anti-money laundering law can apply to a non-U.S. citizen if the “conduct” occurs “in part” in the U.S. (Title 18, USC Sec. 1956(f)).


Describe a cross-border transfer.

A cross-border transfer is any wire transfer in which the originator and beneficiary institutions are located in different jurisdictions. A cross-border transfer also refers to any chain of wire transfers that has at least one cross-border element.


Describe an intermediary financial institution.

An intermediary financial institution receives funds from a wire transfer transmitter’s financial institution and relays or transmits the order of payment to the recipient’s financial institution. In an international funds transmission, intermediary financial institutions are usually located in different countries.


What is an International Business Company (IBC)?

A variety of offshore corporate structures, alternately called “exempt companies,” which are dedicated to business use outside the incorporating jurisdiction, rapid formation, secrecy, broad powers, low cost, low to zero taxation, and minimal filing and reporting requirements.


Describe Know Your Customer (KYC).

Know Your Customer (KYC) refers to anti-money laundering policies and procedures used to determine the true identity of a customer and the type of activity that is “normal and expected,” and to detect activity that is “unusual” for a particular customer. Many experts believe that a sound KYC program is one of the best tools in an effective anti-money laundering program.


Describe a nostro account.

Nostro and vostro accounts are mirror correspondent accounts maintained by two banks in different jurisdictions to facilitate transactions in each other’s local currency—essentially, clearing accounts that balance foreign currency transactions between the two institutions. For example, Bank X from Brazil might open a U.S.-dollar account at Bank Y in the U.S., called a “nostro” (literally “our”) account; Bank Y might open a mirror account in Brazilian reals with Bank X in Brazil—a “vostro” (“your”) account. Financial regulators have expressed concern over the transparency of nostro and vostro account relationships,especially when there are multiple layers of accounts within primary relationships.
Nostro and vostro accounts are mirror correspondent accounts maintained by two banks in different jurisdictions to facilitate transactions in each other’s local currency—essentially, clearing accounts that balance foreign currency transactions between the two institutions. For example, Bank X from Brazil might open a U.S.-dollar account at Bank Y in the U.S., called a “nostro” (literally “our”) account; Bank Y might open a mirror account in Brazilian reals with Bank X in Brazil—a “vostro” (“your”) account. Financial regulators have expressed concern over the transparency of nostro and vostro account relationships,especially when there are multiple layers of accounts within primary relationships.


Define physical cross-border transportation of currency.

The physical cross-border transportation of currency is defined as any in-bound or out-bound transportation of currency or bearer negotiable instruments from one country to another. The term includes: (1) physical transportation by a natural person, or in that person’s accompanying luggage or vehicle; (2) shipment of currency through cargo containers; and (3) the mailing of currency or bearer negotiable instruments.


Define a red flag.

A warning signal that should bring attention to a potentially suspicious situation, transaction or activity.


Define smurfing.

A commonly used money laundering method, smurfing involves the use of multiple individuals and/or multiple transactions for making cash deposits, buying monetary instruments or bank drafts in amounts under
the reporting threshold.


Describe a tax haven.

Countries that offer special tax incentives or tax avoidance to foreign investors and depositors.


What is tipping off?

The improper or illegal act of notifying a suspect that he or she is the subject of a Suspicious Transaction Report or is otherwise being investigated or pursued by the authorities.


What is the broad objective of the UNODC model legislation on money laundering and financing of terrorism?

The broad objective of the Global Programme is to strengthen the ability of Member States to implement measures against money-laundering and the financing of terrorism and to assist them in detecting, seizing and confiscating illicit proceeds, as required pursuant to United Nations instruments and other globally accepted standards, by providing relevant and appropriate technical assistance upon request.


According to the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision's paper entitled "Compliance and the compliance function in banks," what are the responsibilities
of the board of directors for compliance?

According to the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision's paper entitled "Compliance and the compliance function in banks," the bank's board of directors is responsible for overseeing the management of the bank's compliance risk.
The board should approve the bank's compliance policy, including a formal document establishing a permanent and effective compliance function. At least once a year, the board or a committee of the board should assess the extent to which the bank is managing its compliance risk effectively.


According to FATF's paper called "Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Vulnerabilities of Commercial Websites and Internet Payment Systems," what are the different classes/types of commercial websites?

• Mediated customer-to-customer, sites that allow private individuals to sell to one another via an online marketplace,
• Mediated business-to-customer, sites that allow multiple merchants to sell to consumers via an online marketplace,
• Non-mediated customer-to-customer (i.e. Bulletin board services and online classifieds), sites that only allow customers to advertise goods they want to sell,
• Direct business-to-customer, merchants that sell goods to consumers via their own websites, and
• Direct business-to-business websites, merchants selling to merchants.


According to the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision's paper entitled "Customer Due Diligence for Banks," how are sound KYC procedures relevant to the safety and soundness of banks?

• They help to protect banks’ reputation and the integrity of banking systems by reducing the likelihood of banks
becoming a vehicle for or a victim of financial crime and suffering consequential reputational damage, and
• They constitute an essential part of sound risk management (e.g. by providing the basis for identifying, limiting and
controlling risk exposures in assets and liabilities, including assets under management).


What are the two main reasons correspondent banking is vulnerable to money laundering?

• By their nature, correspondent banking relationships create a situation in which a financial institution carries out financial transactions on behalf of customers of another institution. This indirect relationship means that the correspondent bank provides services for individuals or entities for which it has neither verified the identities nor obtained any first-hand knowledge, and
• The amount of money that flows through correspondent accounts can pose a significant threat to financial institutions, as they process large volumes of transactions for their customers’ customers. This makes it more difficult to identify the suspect transactions, as the financial institution generally does not have the information on the actual parties conducting the transaction to know whether they are unusual.


Identify and describe the three sections of the USA Patriot Act concerning due diligence U.S. financial institutions need to perform for relationships with foreign correspondent banking customers.

Section 312 requires institutions must set up risk based due diligence to mitigate the money laundering risks posed by foreign financial institutions.
Section 313, which prohibits U.S. financial institutions from opening or maintaining correspondent accounts for foreign shell banks and requires them to take "reasonable steps" to ensure that a correspondent account of a foreign bank is not being used indirectly to provide banking services to a shell bank.
Section 319, which requires U.S. financial institutions to maintain records with the names and address of the owners of foreign banks for which they maintain correspondent accounts.


What is a concentration account?

Concentration accounts are internal accounts established to facilitate the processing and settlement of multiple or individual customer transactions within the bank, usually on the same day. These accounts are also known as special-use, omnibus, settlement, suspense, intraday, sweep or collection accounts. Concentration accounts are frequently used to facilitate transactions for private banking, trust and custody accounts, funds transfers and international affiliates.


What is one of the most important aspects of due diligence for a bank when establishing a relationship with a money remitter?

Ensuring the money remitter is properly licensed.


How can the free-look period be used to launder money?

A free-look period is a feature that allows investors, for a short period of time after the policy is signed and the premium paid, to back out of a policy without penalty. This process allows the money launderer to get an insurance check, which represents cleaned funds. However, as more insurance companies are subject to AML program requirements, this type of money laundering is more readily detected and reported.


How can the early redemption method on insurance policies be used to launder money?

One indicator of possible money laundering is when a potential policyholder is more interested in the cancellation terms of a policy than the benefits of the policy. The launderer buys a policy with illicit money and then tells the insurance company that he has changed his mind and does not need the policy. After paying a penalty, the launderer redeems the policy and receives a clean check from a respected insurer.


Describe the type of services to third parties that any person or business provides on a professional basis
to participate in the creation, administration, or management of corporate vehicles.

Trust and company service providers (TCSP) include those persons and entities that, on a professional basis, participate in the creation, administration or management of corporate vehicles. They refer to any person or business that provides any of the following services
to third parties:
• Acting as a formation agent of legal persons,
• Acting as (or arranging for another person to act as) a director or secretary of a company, a partner of a partnership, or a similar position in
relation to other legal persons,
• Providing a registered office, business address or correspondence for a company, a partnership or any other legal person or arrangement,
• Acting as (or arranging for another person to act as) a trustee of an express trust, and
• Acting as (or arranging for another person to act as) a nominee shareholder for another person.


According to a 2001 report, “Money Laundering in Canada: An Analysis of RCMP Cases,” what are the four related reasons to establish or control a shell company for money laundering purposes?

• Shell companies accomplish the objective of converting the cash proceeds of crime into alternative assets,
• Through the use of shell companies, the launderer can create the perception that illicit funds have been generated from a legitimate source,
• Once a shell company is established, a wide range of legitimate and/or bogus business transactions can be used to further the laundering process, and
• Shell companies can also be effective in concealing criminal ownership. Nominees can be used as owners, directors, officers or shareholders.


What is the significance of a trust account, whether offshore or onshore, in the context of money laundering?

The significance of a trust account — whether onshore or offshore — in the context of money laundering cannot be understated: It can be used as part of the first step in converting illicit cash into less suspicious assets; it can help hide criminal ownership of funds or other assets; and it is often an essential link between different money laundering vehicles and techniques, such as real estate, shell and active companies, nominees and the deposit and transfer of criminal proceeds.


What is the difference in the money trail between terrorist financing and money laundering?

The money trail for money laundering is circular with money eventually ending up with the person who generated it. On the other hand, the money trail for terrorist financing is linear with the money generated
being used to propagate terrorist groups and activities.


What general characteristics of terrorist financing can a financial institution look at to avoid becoming conduits for terrorist financing?

FATF's report entitled "Guidance for Financial Institutions in Detecting Terrorist Financing" published April 24, 2002 describes general characteristics of terrorist financing that a financial institution can look at to avoid becoming conduits for terrorist financing, including: (a) Use of an account as a front for a person with suspected terrorist links, (b) Appearance of an accountholder’s name on a list of suspected terrorists, (c) Frequent large cash deposits in accounts of non-profit organizations, (d) High volume of transactions in the account, and (e) Lack of a clear relationship between the banking activity and the nature of the accountholder’s business.


Why are hawalas attractive to terrorist financiers?

Hawalas are attractive to terrorist financiers because they, unlike formal financial institutions, are not subject to formal government oversight and do not keep detailed records in a standard form. Although some hawaladars do keep ledgers, their records are often written in idiosyncratic shorthand and are maintained only briefly.


Identify the seven topics of international standards incorporated into the FATF 40 Recommendations (2012).

• AML/CFT policies and procedures [Recommendations 1-2],
• Money laundering and confiscation [Recommendations 3-4],
•Terrorist financing and financing of proliferation [Recommendations 5-8],
• Financial and non-financial institution preventative measures [Recommendations 9-23],
• Transparency and beneficial ownership of legal persons and arrangements [Recommendations 24-25],
• Powers and responsibilities of competent authorities and other institutional measures [Recommendations 26-35], and
• International cooperation [Recommendations 36-40].


Describe FATF's Recommendation 1 (2012) on the risk?based approach.

Countries should start by identifying, assessing and understanding the money laundering and terrorist financing risks they face. Then they should take appropriate measures to mitigate the identified risks.
The risk-based approach allows countries to target their limited resources in a targeted manner to their own particular circumstances, thereby increasing the
efficiency of the preventative measures. Financial institutions should also use the risk-based approach
to identify and mitigate the risks they face.


Describe FATF's Recommendation 15 (2012) on new technologies.

Countries and financial institutions should assess the risks associated with developments of new products, business practices, delivery mechanisms and technology. Financial institutions should assess these risks prior to launching new products; they should also take appropriate measures to mitigate the risks identified.


What are six principles set forth in the Basel Committee's Statement of Principles called “Prevention of Criminal Use of the Banking System for the Purpose of Money Laundering”?

In 1988, the Basel Committee issued a Statement of Principles called “Prevention of Criminal Use of the Banking System for the Purpose of Money Laundering” in recognition of the vulnerability of the financial sector to misuse by criminals. This was a step toward preventing the use of the banking sector for money laundering, and it set out principles with respect to:
• Customer identification,
• Compliance with laws,
• Conformity with high ethical standards and local laws and regulations,
• Full cooperation with national law enforcement to the extent permitted without breaching customer confidentiality,
• Staff training, and
• Record keeping and audits.


Identify the seven specific customer identification issues as identified in the Basel Committee's October 2001 paper called "Customer Due Diligence for Banks."

• Trust, nominee and fiduciary accounts,
• Corporate vehicles, particularly companies with nominee shareholders or entities with shares in bearer form,
• Introduced businesses,
• Client accounts opened by professional intermediaries, such as “pooled” accounts managed by professional intermediaries on behalf of entities such
as mutual funds, pension funds and money funds,
• Politically exposed persons,
• Non-face-to-face customers, i.e., customers who do not present themselves for a personal interview, and
• Correspondent banking.


What are the four key elements of Know Your Customer (KYC) as identified in the Basel Committee's October 2001 paper called "Customer Due Diligence for Banks?"

• Customer identification,
• Risk management,
• Customer acceptance, and
• Monitoring.


How does the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) monitor member's implementation of the anti-money laundering recommendations?

The CFATF monitors members’ implementation of the anti-money laundering recommendations identified in the Kingston Declaration through the following activities:
• Self-assessment of the implementation of the recommendations,
• An ongoing program of mutual evaluation of members,
• Coordination of, and participation in, training and technical assistance programs,
• Biennial plenary meetings for technical representatives, and
• Annual ministerial meetings.


According to the Egmont Group, what is the definition of a Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU)?

In 1996, based on the work of its Legal Working Group, Egmont approved a definition of an FIU. It was amended in 2004 to reflect the FIUs’ role in combating terrorism financing as follows: (a) A central, national agency responsible for receiving (and, as permitted, requesting), analyzing and disseminating to the competent authorities, disclosures of financial information, (b) Concerning suspected proceeds of crime and potential financing of terrorism, and (c) Required by national legislation or regulation, in order to combat money laundering and terrorism financing.


According to the Wolfsberg Anti-Money Laundering Principles for Private Banking (2000), what are situations for private banking that require further due diligence?

• Public officials, including individuals holding, or having held, positions of public trust, as well as their families and close associates,
• High-risk countries, including countries “identified by credible sources as having inadequate anti-money laundering standards or representing high-risk for crime and corruption, ” and
• High-risk activities, involving clients and beneficial owners whose source of wealth “emanates from activities known to be susceptible to money laundering.


When categorizing risks, what are the four general levels of risk?

• Prohibited — The company will not tolerate any dealings of any kind given the risk. Countries subject to economic sanctions or designated as state sponsors of terrorism, such as Sudan or Iran, are prime candidates for prohibited transactions. Prohibited customers would include shell banks,
• High-Risk – The risks here are significant, but are not necessarily prohibited. To mitigate the heightened risk presented, the firm should apply more stringent controls to reduce the risk, such as conducting enhanced due diligence and more rigorous transaction monitoring. Countries that are noted for corruption or drug trafficking are generally deemed high risk. High-risk customers may include PEPs; high-risk products and services may include correspondent banking and private banking,
• Medium-Risk — Medium risks are more than a low-or standard-risk of money laundering, and merit additional scrutiny, but do not rise to the level of high-risk, and
• Low- or Standard-Risk — This represents the baseline risk of money laundering; normal business rules apply. FATF member countries and domestic retail customers are frequently, but not always, considered to be standard- or low-risk.


What types of customers might be considered high-risk for money laundering?

• Casinos,
• Offshore corporations and banks located in tax/banking havens,
• Leather goods stores,
• Currency exchange houses, money remitters, check cashers,
• Car, boat and plane dealerships,
• Used-car and truck-dealers and machine parts manufacturers,
• Travel agencies,
• Brokers/dealers in securities,
• Jewel, gem and precious metals dealers,
• Import/ export companies, and
• Cash-intensive businesses (restaurants, retail stores, parking).


What banking functions or products are considered high-risk?

• Private banking,
• Offshore international activity,
• Deposit-taking facilities,
• Wire transfer and cash-management functions,
• Transactions in which the primary beneficiary is undisclosed,
• Loan guarantee schemes,
• Travelers checks,
• Official bank checks,
• Money orders,
• Foreign exchange transactions,
• Trade-financing transactions with unusual pricing features, and
• Payable Through Accounts (PTAs).


What are some characteristics of a successful anti-money laundering compliance training program?

Regulations and laws require financial institutions to have formal, written AML compliance programs that include “training for appropriate personnel.” A successful training program not only should meet the standards set out in the laws and regulations that apply to an institution, but should also satisfy internal policies and procedures and should mitigate the risk of getting caught up in a money laundering scandal. Training is one of the most important ways to stress the importance of anti-money laundering efforts, as well as educating employees about what to do if they encounter potential money laundering.


Identify the basic elements behind the development of an effective anti-money laundering compliance training program.

• Who to train,
• What to train on,
• How to train,
• When to train, and
• Where to train.


What steps should the independent audit take to evaluate the bank's ability to identify unusual activity?

• Reviewing policies, procedures, and processes for suspicious activity monitoring,
• Evaluating the system’s methodology for establishing and analyzing expected activity or filtering criteria,
• Evaluating the system’s ability to generate monitoring reports, and
• Determining whether the system’s filtering criteria are reasonable.


Where does the ultimate responsibility for the AML compliance program rest with?

The ultimate responsibility for the AML compliance program rests with the board of directors. Members must set the tone from the top by openly voicing their commitment to the program, ensuring that their commitment flows through all service areas and lines of business, and holding responsible parties accountable for compliance.


What are the seven elements of a sound customer due diligence (CDD) program?

• Full identification of customer and business entities, including source of funds and wealth when appropriate,
• Development of transaction and activity profiles of each customer’s anticipated activity,
• Definition and acceptance of the customer in the context of specific products and services,
• Assessment and grading of risks that the customer or the account present,
• Account and transaction monitoring based on the risks presented,
• Investigation and examination of unusual customer or account activity, and
• Documentation of findings.


Describe a sound Know Your Employee program.

A Know Your Employee (KYE) program means that the institution has a program in place that allows it to
understand an employee’s background, conflicts of interest and susceptibility to money laundering complicity.
Policies, procedures, internal controls, job descriptions, code of conduct/ethics, levels of authority, compliance with personnel laws and regulations, accountability, monitoring, dual control, and other deterrents should
be firmly in place.


Identify the four ways that good technology can equip organizations with improved defenses in the fight against financial crime.

• Transaction monitoring: scanning and analyzing data for potential money laundering activity,
• Watch list filtering: screening new accounts, existing customers, beneficiaries and transaction
counterparties against terrorist, criminal and other blocked- persons watch lists,
• Automation of regulatory reporting: filing suspicious transaction reports (STRs), currency transaction
reports (CTRs), or other regulatory reports with the government, and
• A detailed audit trail: demonstrates compliance efforts to regulators.


Define a search warrant and describe how it is issued.

A search warrant is a grant of permission from a court for a law enforcement agency to search certain designated premises and to seize specific categories of items or documents. Generally, the requesting agency is required to establish that probable cause exists to believe that evidence of a crime will be located. The warrant is authorized based on information contained in an affidavit submitted by a law enforcement officer.


Identify the factors a prosecutor many consider when determining whether or not to bring a case against an institution involving money laundering-related charges.

• The institution has a criminal history,
• The institution has cooperated with the investigation,
• The institution discovered and self-reported the money laundering-related issues,
• The institution has had a comprehensive and effective AML program,
• The institution has taken timely and effective remedial action,
• There are civil remedies available that can serve as punishment, or
• Deterring wrongdoing by others is needed and will be served by a prosecution.


If a bank is under investigation by a government agency for possible money laundering, what steps should the
Bank have for its employees follow?

With regard to investigations conducted by the government, employees should be informed of the investigation and should be instructed not to produce corporate documents directly, but, rather, should inform senior management or counsel of all requests for documentation and should provide the documents to them for production. In that way, the institution will know what is being requested and what has been produced. In addition, the institution can determine what, if any, requests should be contested. The same procedure should be followed with regard to requests for employee interviews.


Identify several situations that may require a financial institution to initiate an internal investigation?

• A report of examination from the regulators,
• Information from third parties, such as customers,
• Information derived from surveillance or monitoring systems,
• Information from employees or a company hotline,
• Receipt of a governmental subpoena or search warrant,
• Learning that government investigators are asking questions of institution employees, business associates, customers or even competitors, and
• The filing of a civil lawsuit against the institution or a customer of the institution.


What is the purpose of conducting an internal investigation?

The purpose of the investigation will be to learn the nature and extent of any potential wrongdoing, to develop information sufficient to report - when necessary - to the authorities, to enable the institution to minimize its liability, and to stop any potential money laundering.


According to statements by the U.S. Treasury and Internal Revenue Service (IRS), what are some patterns
financial institutions can look for as they investigate possible money laundering?

• Unusually high monthly balances in comparison to known sources of income,
• Unusually large deposits, deposits in round numbers or deposits in repeated amounts that are not attributable to legitimate sources of income,
• Multiple deposits made under reportable thresholds,
• The timing of deposits. This is particularly important when dates of illegal payments are known,
• Checks written for unusually large amounts (in relation to the suspect’s known practices), or
• A lack of account activity. This might indicate transactions in currency or the existence of other unknown bank accounts.


Why is it important to interview knowledgeable employees as soon as practical?

When performing an internal investigation, it is important to secure and review all relevant documentation and to interview all knowledgeable employees. It is important to interview these employees as soon as practicable so that their memories are the freshest and so that they can direct management or counsel to relevant documents and people on a timely basis.


What steps should the institution take to ensure a written report on the internal investigation retains the attorney-client privilege?

If counsel for the institution prepares a written report of an investigation, the institution should take steps to not inadvertently waive the attorney-client privilege by distributing the report to persons who should not receive it.
Every page of the report should contain a statement that it is confidential and is subject to the attorney-client privilege and work-product privilege. Copies of the report should be numbered, and a list of persons who are given copies to read should be maintained. After a set period of time, all copies should be returned. Persons obtaining the report should be instructed not to make notes on their copies. All copies should be maintained in a file separate from regular institution files in a further effort to maintain the highest level of protection.


What are bearer negotiable instruments?

Bearer negotiable instruments Include monetary instruments in bearer form such as: negotiable instruments (including checks, promissory notes and money orders) that are either in bearer form, are endorsed without restriction, are made out to a fictitious payee, or are otherwise in such form that title there to passes upon delivery.


What is a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)?

An agreement between two parties establishing a set of principles that govern their relationship on a particular matter. An MOU is often used by countries to govern their sharing of assets in international asset-forfeiture cases or to set out their respective duties in anti-money laundering initiatives. Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs), with the task of receiving and analyzing suspicious transaction reports on an ongoing basis and maintaining close links with police and customs authorities, share information among themselves informally in the context of investigations, usually on the basis of an MOU. The Egmont Group of FIUs has established a model for such MOUs. Unlike the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (see below), this gateway is ordinarily used not for obtaining evidence, but for obtaining intelligence that might lead to evidence.


Describe a Patriot Act certification.

A certification is a formal assertion in writing which, under the USA Patriot Act, is used by U.S. regulators in different contexts, including a written statement by a respondent bank signed by its duly authorized representative certifying that the bank does not do business with shell banks (under Section 313 of the USA Patriot Act). It can also be a written representation provided by a U.S. federal agent stating that the matter for which he or she is seeking information from financial institutions under Sec. 314(a) of the USA Patriot Act regulations is linked to money laundering or terrorist financing.


What is an exempt account?

In some countries, a distinction is granted to certain customers of a financial institution permitting the institution to waive its responsibility to report certain transactions that are otherwise required. Exempt accounts must be documented and the financial institutions that secure the exemptions must still monitor their transactions.


Describe a Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).

A central governmental office that obtains information from financial reports, processes it and then discloses it to an appropriate government authority in support of a national anti-money laundering effort. The activities performed by an FIU include receiving, analyzing and disseminating information and, sometimes, investigating violations and prosecuting individuals indicated in the disclosures.


What is a front company?

A business that commingles illicit funds with revenue generated from the sale of legitimate products or services. Criminals use front companies to launder illicit money by giving the funds the appearance of legitimate origin.
Organized crime has used pizza parlors to mask proceeds from heroin trafficking. Front companies may have access to substantial illicit funds, allowing them to subsidize front company products and services at levels well below market rates or even below manufacturing costs. Front companies have a competitive advantage over legitimate firms that must borrow from financial markets, making it difficult for legitimate businesses to compete with front companies.


Describe a lockbox.

A service offered by banks to companies in which the company receives payments by mail to a post office box and the bank picks up the payments several times a day, deposits them into the company’s account, and notifies the company of the deposits. The service enables the company to put the money to work as soon as it is received, but the amounts must be large in order for the value obtained to exceed the cost of the service. In the insurance industry there is also widespread use of “lock boxes” for payment of life insurance and annuities products.


What is a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT)?

An agreement among countries allowing for mutual assistance in legal proceedings and access to documents and witnesses and other legal and judicial resources in the respective countries, in private and public sectors, for use in official investigations and prosecutions.


What is a nominee company?

A corporation that is formed for the express purpose of holding securities and other assets in its name on behalf of others, or providing nominee directors and/or officers on behalf of clients.


What are remittance services?

Remittance services are also referred to as giro houses or casas de cambio. Remittance services are businesses that receive cash or other funds that they transfer through the banking system to another account. The account is held by an associated company in a foreign jurisdiction where the money is made available to the ultimate recipient.


Describe a Ponzi Scheme.

A money laundering system named after Charles Ponzi, an Italian immigrant who spent 10 years in jail in the U.S. for a scheme that defrauded 40,000 people out of $15,000,000. Ponzi’s name became synonymous with the use of new investors’ money to pay off prior investors. Ponzi schemes involve fake, non-existent investment schemes in which the investors are tricked into investing on the promise of unusually attractive returns. The operator of the scheme can keep the operation going by paying off early investors with the money from new investors until the scheme collapses under its own weight and/or the promoter vanishes with the remaining money.
The scheme recently engaged in by Bernie Madoff is an example of a Ponzi scheme. The prime bank guaranty, roll program, bank debenture program and high yield promises are frequently used to entice investors into participating in Ponzi schemes.


What is a safe harbor for reporting suspicious activity?

Safe harbor is defined as legal protection for financial institutions, their directors, officers and employees from criminal and civil liability for breach of any restriction on disclosing information imposed by contract or by any legislative, regulatory or administrative prohibition, if they report their suspicions in good faith to the Financial Investigation Unit (FIU), even if they did not know precisely what the underlying criminal activity was, and regardless of whether illegal activity actually occurred.


Describe a trustee.

A trustee may be a paid professional or company or unpaid person that holds the assets in a trust fund separate from the trustee’s own assets. The trustee invests and disposes of the assets in accordance with the settlor’s trust deed, taking into consideration any letter of wishes.


What is hawala?

A funds exchange system in Indian and Chinese civilizations used to facilitate the secure and convenient cross-border movement of funds.
Hawala was born centuries before Western financial systems. Merchant traders wishing to send funds to their homelands would deposit them with a hawala broker or hawaladar who normally owned a trading business. For a small fee, the banker would arrange for the funds to be available for withdrawal from another banker, normally also a trader, in another country. The two bankers would settle accounts through the normal process of trade. Today, the technique works much the same, with businesspersons in various parts of the world using their corporate accounts to move money internationally for third parties. Deposits and withdrawals are made through hawaladars, rather than traditional financial institutions. The practice is vulnerable to terrorist financing and money laundering—funds do not actually cross borders, and transactions tend to be confidential, as records are not stringently kept. In Pakistan, the system is called hundi. See Alternative Remittance System.


Describe willful blindness.

A legal principle that operates in money laundering cases in the U.S. and is defined by courts as the “deliberate avoidance of knowledge of the facts” or “purposeful indifference.” Courts have held that willful blindness is the equivalent of actual knowledge of the illegal source of funds or of the intentions of a customer in a money laundering transaction.


According to FATF's paper called "Risk-Based Approach Guidance for Casinos," what are the potential transaction risks for land-based and internet casinos?

According to FATF's paper called "Risk-Based Approach Guidance for Casinos,"casinos should consider operational aspects (i.e. products, services, games, and accounts/account activities) that can be used to facilitate money laundering and terrorist financing activities. In addition, land-based and Internet casinos have the following potential transaction risks:
• Proceeds of crime,
• Cash,
• Transfers between customers,
• Loan sharking,
• Use of casino deposit accounts, and
• Redemption of chips, tickets, or tokens for currency.


According to the Egmont Group's "Principles for Information Exchange Between Financial Intelligence Units for Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Cases," what are the permitted uses of information?

• Information exchanged between FIUs may be used only for the specific purpose for which the information was sought or provided.
• The requesting FIU may not transfer information shared by a disclosing FIU to a third party, nor make use of the information in an administrative, investigative, prosecutorial, or judicial purpose without the prior consent of the FIU that disclosed the information.


According to the Wolfsberg Statement on AML Screening, Monitoring, and Searching (2009), what are the most appropriate and effective overall monitoring frameworks?

The Wolfsberg Group believes that a risk-based approach enhances the effectiveness of monitoring for unusual and potentially suspicious activity, to the extent that such activity is distinguishable from legitimate activity. It is for this reason that the Wolfsberg Group supports the introduction of risk-based monitoring models and frameworks that are sufficiently flexible to meet the needs and nature of individual financial institutions. The most appropriate and effective overall monitoring framework may contain one or more of the following elements:
• A dedicated automated transaction monitoring system,
• System-generated exception reports,
• Manual “line of business” incident reports,
• Scheduled periodic reviews/sampling, and
• Event-driven reviews (e.g., following issuance of new typologies).