Virtual Currencies: Opening a New Avenue for Financial Crimes

While the inception of a virtual monetary system has been instrumental in pushing the boundaries of innovation in the financial services sector, this relatively new and still evolving form of transacting can be susceptible to exploitation by illicit actors, including those seeking to commit financial crime, and the financial services industry should remain aware of risks specific to sanctions evasion, money laundering and corruption. In this guest article, EY’s Walid Raad, Donna Daniels and Brittany Gribble explain how cryptocurrency transactions, like those involving fiat money, may have potential risks including difficulty in determining the ultimate origin of the funds, the ability to attempt circumventing monitoring programs and the ability to comingle layered funds, facilitating the movement of potentially illicit funds or the proceeds of corruption. See “How to Leverage AML Tools for ABC Programs” (May 1, 2019).

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