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The Regulators Are at the Gates: Significant New AML Legislation Nears Passage

Over the past few years, Congress and law enforcement have notably increased their scrutiny of companies’ anti-money laundering compliance, and it appears that Congress is not yet finished with its drive for additional legislation and regulation.

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Over the past few years, Congress and law enforcement have notably increased their scrutiny of companies’ anti-money laundering (AML) compliance, and it appears that Congress is not yet finished with its drive for additional legislation and regulation. On Jan. 1, 2021, Congress passed the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 (the AMLA), which was included in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021. The AMLA, which was widely perceived to represent one of the largest reforms of U.S. AML laws since the 2001 Patriot Act, included the creation of a national registry that tracks certain entities’ beneficial ownership information, brought antiquities dealers and cryptocurrency exchanges, and transmitting businesses under the Bank Secrecy Act’s (BSA) AML requirements, updated AML whistleblower provisions, and expanded law enforcement tools, including providing the Department of Justice and Treasury Department with the power to subpoena foreign banks with U.S. correspondent accounts for records related to any account at the bank. Since its passage, companies have been busy adapting their AML compliance programs to account for these significant changes to AML laws.

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