Anti-money laundering—USA—Q&A guide

The following Corporate Crime practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Anti-money laundering—USA—Q&A guide
  • 1. Identify your jurisdiction’s money laundering and anti-money laundering (AML) laws and regulations. Describe the main elements of these laws.
  • 2. Describe any specific powers to identify proceeds of crime or to require an explanation as to the source of funds.
  • 3. Which government entities enforce your jurisdiction’s money laundering laws?
  • 4. Can both natural and legal persons be prosecuted for money laundering?
  • 5. What constitutes money laundering?
  • 6. Is there any limitation on the types of assets or transactions that can form the basis of a money laundering offence?
  • 7. Generally, what constitute predicate offences?
  • 8. Are there any codified or common law defences to charges of money laundering?
  • 9. What is the range of outcomes in criminal money laundering cases?
  • More...

Anti-money laundering—USA—Q&A guide

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to anti-money laundering in USA published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: June 2021).

Authors: Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP—Stephanie L Brooker; Arthur S. Long; Linda Noonan; Ella A Capone

1. Identify your jurisdiction’s money laundering and anti-money laundering (AML) laws and regulations. Describe the main elements of these laws.

The United States addresses money laundering through different types of laws – criminal provisions punishing money laundering conduct, provisions requiring financial institutions to prevent and detect money laundering, and related forfeiture (confiscation) authorities.

There are two criminal money laundering provisions, 18 United States Code, sections 1956 and 1957.

The principal legal authority for imposing anti-money laundering preventative requirements on financial institutions and other businesses is the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) (31 USC, section 5311 et seq, 12 USC, sections 1829b, and 1951–1959) and the BSA implementing regulations (31 CFR Chapter X). The BSA gives the Secretary of the Treasury the authority to require reporting, record-keeping and AML programme requirements for financial institutions and other businesses listed in the statute.

2. Describe any specific powers to identify proceeds of crime or to require an explanation as to the source of funds.

Although there is no specific legal authority, criminal investigative agencies can use legal process (eg, subpoenas) to investigate money laundering crimes or

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