How reporting for ICIJ ready me to change into a licensed anti-money laundering specialist

As an investigative reporter, I’m used to not making many friends at work.

Your integrity – and intelligence – is regularly challenged. “It’s complicated,” say the subjects of our investigations into financial crime, tax avoidance and the offshore industry. ‘You have no idea what you are talking about.’

I remember an especially sharp email from a high-paying musician’s rep in response to simple questions about an offshore bank account: “It’s difficult to express astonishment at the receipt of your email in writing. It contains references to allegations of the most bizarre kind. “

To them I say … CAMS!

Earlier this year, I passed a test that allowed me to add four words after my name: Certified Money Laundering Specialist.

The CAMS accreditation granted by a leading Association by anti-money laundering specialists, is primarily intended for people who work in banks, financial services companies and other companies to prevent criminals as much as possible from sending, receiving or moving what we often call “dirty money” or the proceeds from a crime. These are the people who are meant to stop what you see in movies. They know the crux of the matter: a drug cartel sells cocaine, then they count stacks of 100 dollar bills in a kitchen and transfer the money to a secret bank account in Switzerland before buying a luxury condo in Miami.

Stopping this type of wrongdoing is no easy task. Many criminals are much smarter than they were 20 years ago, when it was easier to walk into a hotel with a briefcase full of cash and bribe a foreign official. In addition, these specialists in charge of labeling and blocking criminal cash can sometimes encounter resistance within their own bank – CAMS are often the ones who advise their colleagues to say “no” to potentially lucrative customers.

Talking to such specialists is part of my job as a reporter at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. And that’s not just me. Of Panama papers to FinCEN files, hundreds of reporters working with the ICIJ on our groundbreaking investigation regularly interview anti-money laundering specialists. (Thanks for answering our calls, everyone!)

We ask questions like: Does that sound suspicious? What laws did Deutsche Bank have when it helped the repressive government of Turkmenistan? Send $ 1.6 million to a recently formed mailbox company in Scotland to buy “confectionery”? What legal responsibilities do you have, if any? Lawyers, accountants and bankers before you agreed to partner with Angolan billionaire Isabel dos Santos? What does the United Arab Emirates so stupid?

For a couple of months I set aside an hour or two a day for study. Flash cards? Check. Online Lectures? Check. Practice quizzes? Check. A 316-page memorization manual? Check. I drowned in acronyms: FATF, GAFILAT, NCCT, MLAT, AMLID, MSB, DNFBP.

When I took the exam in March, I felt well prepared. But at several points during the 210-minute test, I was convinced that I would fail. What would i say to my friend Or worse, my bosses?

My friend made a sign to me to celebrate passing the CAMS test. Image: Will Fitzgibbon

I passed by and breathed a sigh of relief.

I was pleasantly surprised at how well my work at ICIJ had prepared me.

But what really excited me, aside from my new qualification and nerdy bragging rights, was the realization that years of global collaboration in the offshore financial system has also produced an army of journalists like me with anti-money laundering experience in the workplace. Let’s call it “CAMS-by-doing”.

For more than seven years, I have joined hundreds of reporters from around the world on many of the ICIJ’s best-known financial investigations Swiss leaks to the Panama papers to Leaks in West Africa to the FinCEN files.

Together we read thousands of emails, contracts, spreadsheets, and financial statements. We interviewed thousands of experts. Slowly but surely, journalists like me who have worked on ICIJ research have built a knowledge base that would read like a dedicated CAMS study guide.

Most of us (myself included) are not and never will be experts. But every year we improve our knowledge of where to look and what questions to ask. Our BS-Radar has become more precise, if you will: Why should a Canadian company founded with gold mine in Senegal a company without employees in Mauritius? Why should a Cellist and close friend Russian President Vladimir Putin’s rights to a $ 200 million loan for just $ 1?

Sure, I’m a CAMS now. But the world should be more careful: with years of ICIJ investigations, there are now hundreds of other reporters out there, just like me, better than ever at spotting a seedy deal when they see one. I’m excited to see what we all do next.

Crooks, watch out.

Anthem Leisure – Supervisor, FP&A and Monetary Reporting (US)

Anthem Entertainment has offices in Toronto, Nashville, New York, Los Angeles and London with a team of around 200 dedicated industry professionals. The company supports artists, creates content and provides services around the world. As technology and entertainment evolve, Anthem Entertainment works hard to create and maximize opportunities for its talent and customers. The Anthem Difference: A unique approach that combines the resources, strength and reach of a major with the agility, entrepreneurship and soul of an indie.

www.anthementertainment.com

Title: Manager, FP&A and Financial Reporting
Location: New York, NY

Position summary:

The Manager, Financial Planning & Analysis and Financial Reporting works closely with the VP, Finance and the Controller to increase the profitability and efficiency of the company through medium and long-term financial measures. This newly created role requires overseeing financial planning and analysis, budgeting and forecasting, business development / business on-boarding, financial reporting to internal and external stakeholders, audits, governance and risk management.

Tasks include, but are not limited to:
  • Defines financial situations by performing quantitative analysis and developing strategies to address potential outcomes and returns
  • Manage critical processes including budgeting, forecasting, R&D, month-end closing, performance reporting, and others.
    Development, optimization and standardization of FP&A processes, among other things by coordinating automation options and exchanging best practices.
  • Synthesize and communicate the financial reports in materials for executives and directors.
  • Involved in the valuation of IP assets by maintaining the current portfolio valuation and valuation and highlighting of impairment risks as well as contributing significantly to the review and support in the implementation of the external valuation
  • Maintains a database of key finance metrics that senior management uses for monthly / ad hoc reviews and discussions
  • Responsible for the supervision and maintenance of the main financial models within the department, ie specific for minimum guarantees and collars
  • Responsible for weekly cash flow forecast to ensure working capital / deal funding requirements are met
  • Monitored by two analysts to ensure all monthly, quarterly, and annual goals are met
  • Oversees the preparation of monthly consolidated financial statements and a management information package
  • Providing reports to corporate and business unit management on the income and expenditure of the BU
  • Make sure the financial reporting team is capturing the financial data in Dynamics GP in a timely and accurate manner
  • Processing at the end of the month and compliance with the reporting deadlines
  • Refine management’s financial reporting, including KPI dashboards, monthly business reports, board presentations, and investor packages
Background and requirements:
  • Extensive experience in financial planning and analysis as well as in the management of budgets, project planning and forecasts
  • Solid technical accounting skills with a recognized accounting designation (CPA or CA preferred)
  • Relevant management experience (at least 3 years) with a degree in accounting and 3 – 5 years experience in financial reporting at a music publisher and / or music company
  • Experience in creating and managing complex financial models
  • Ability to interact with and influence all levels of staff, including C-suite executives
  • Previous analysis of variance and decision-making experience
  • Ability to look for possible solutions to problems and to make well-founded recommendations for appropriate measures
  • The following skills are beneficial: Microsoft Dynamics GP, experience with management reporting and business analysis, internal controls and audits, system implementations / upgrades
Personal qualities:

On a personal level, this person needs to be confident and resilient. You have to be very dynamic, forward-looking, extremely analytical and well organized. This highly self-motivated person will rise to the challenge and do the hard work it takes to be successful. Most importantly, the ideal candidate must be ethically correct and have an undisputed level of personal and professional integrity.

Applicants should apply to [email protected]

All persons are considered for the role, regardless of race, gender or ability.

Some Customary Cynical CIA-Fashion Cuba Covid Reporting at The Washington Publish

Photo source: Martin Abegglen from Bern, Switzerland – CC BY-SA 2.0

Never underestimate the cynicism of the American corporate media. As the historian Helen Yaffe, who lives in Scotland recently observed on CounterpunchThe socialist state of Cuba currently has five COVID-19 vaccines in clinical trials “and is expected to be among the first nations to vaccinate its entire population”. Continue: “Cuba has gone on the offensive against Covid-19, mobilizing the prevention-led, community-based public health system to conduct daily home visits to actively identify and treat cases, and to channel the medical science sector to adapt and add new treatments produce patients and Covid-19-specific vaccines. These advances bring hope not only to Cuba but also to the world. “

Cuba has one of the lowest COVID-19 infection rates and one of the lowest COVID-19 death rates in the western world. The relatively small island nation is the only Latin American country that has developed its own vaccine. We can expect Cuba to export its vaccine as it has long exported its surplus medical workforce to other countries inside and outside Latin America. The 11 million island nation should be able to produce 100 million cans by the end of the year.

Noteworthy is the Cuban achievement, achieved despite the draconian blockade by the United States. As Jaffe notes, it’s all about socialism, creating a society outside and against the rule of imperialist capitalism. “Cuba,” writes Yaffe, “has become a world leader in biotechnology because it has a socialist state with a centrally planned economy that has invested in science and technology and that puts people’s wellbeing before … capitalism and greed … represents. ” It is the lack of the capitalist profit motive that underlies the outstanding national and international reaction of socialist Cuba to Covid-19 … “

Indeed. Socialist Cuba, founded in part by a Marxist doctor (Che Guevera) who said love for others is at the heart of a revolutionary, puts humanity first without worrying about private accumulation and return. Imagine.

But journalists Anthony Faiola and Ana Vanessa Herrero, Reporters in the long run Washington Post affiliated with the CIA, to know better. All you can see in the humanistic COVID-19 accomplishments of socialist Cuba is an attempted “PR coup for an isolated country that returned to the US list of state sponsors of terrorism in the last few days of the Trump administration was set “.

The Hispanic Yankee journalists are not commenting on the many lives Cuba’s vaccines will protect and save, but rather how Cuban vaccines “could make Cuba a pharmacist for nations moving from Washington to the” Axis of Evil “and the” Troika ” Tyranny “were thrown” – Iran and Venezuela.

Faiola and Herrero have nothing to say about Washington’s vicious Orwellian absurdity of calling Cuba a terrorist state and turning Cuba, Venezuela and Iran into a “troika of tyranny” – or about Washington’s longstanding enforcement of Cuba’s “isolated” status (punishment for the unforgivable) sin of breaking away from US imperialist rule).

Imperial scribes Faiola and Herrero, however, like to quote right-wing Cuba critic Eric Farnsworth, vice president of the US-dominated Council of America, on how Cuba’s vaccines will “soften the image of a country accused of doing some pretty bad things. This undermines the message that Cuba is a largely authoritarian country that cannot produce anything good, ”write Failoa and Herrero.

And who is expressing this slanderous image and the slanderous message of Cuba, a beacon of humanitarian and egalitarian politics and values? US propagandists like Eric Farnsworth, of course, with the help of good friends at the Washington Post and other major US media outlets.

The Post reporters also accuse Cuba of profiting from “vaccine tourists” and vaccine exports, as if something is wrong with the socialist nation trying to pay for its outstanding experiment in non-capitalist life on Uncle Sam’s brutal embargo and sanctions .

It doesn’t matter that, as reporters note, Cuba “will provide its vaccines for free or at a cost to poorer nations.”

Oh, “but,” write Faiola and Herrero, “it could charge others a premium and make money, much like the profits it makes from its medical brigades or emergency teams of doctors and nurses, experience fighting global outbreaks have and will be sent. ” in large numbers over the past year to help the hardest hit countries fight the coronavirus. “

Profit for whom? For Cuban Big Pharma executives who live in large, super opulent mansions and armed security guards protect absurdly wealthy residents from the desperately poor masses who live in sprawling slums such as those in Latin American cities like Bogota, Quito, Lima, Sao Paolo, and Rio de Janiero? No, for the Cuban socialist state and its extraordinary medical-industrial complex and educational system, serving a nation that is remarkable combined a high standard of living with a low carbon footprint.

“A successful vaccine.” Faioa and Herrero comment, “It could become an important new source of income for Cuba, which is suffering from a brutal economic crisis that has left citizens waiting hours to buy scarce groceries, soap and toothpaste. The economy deteriorated under the Trump-era sanctions that tightened the longstanding U.S. economic embargo on Cuba by curbing remittances, curtailing U.S. flights, ending passenger traffic on cruise ships, and making Cuba’s access to the global financial system more difficult. “

Well, gee, then we wish Cuba all the best for its vaccine development, no? Let’s end the embargo and lift sanctions to help this remarkable island nation in its noble endeavors to fight death and disease, okay?

Of course, there is no positive endorsement of Cuba’s performance in Failoa and Herrero’s report. Their story ends with a quote from a Cuban government opponent who says: “Cuba believes that this vaccine will give them political recognition. If anything, this will serve as a [more] Propaganda.”

Imperial cynics and propagandists can only see the world through the lens of cynicism and propaganda they project others onto.

Adjustments to AML and Digital Foreign money Laws for Reporting Entitles and Cash Service Companies | Bennett Jones LLP

Companies dealing with “virtual currencies” Monetary services company (MSBs) and others Reporting units (REs) to the Canadian Financial Transaction and Reporting Analysis Center (FINTRAC) are subject to new compliance obligations regarding transfers of virtual currencies over CAD 10,000 and keeping KYC (know-your-client) records as an update of the proceeds of The Act on Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing (PCMLTFA) and related regulations come into effect on June 1, 2021

As of 2020, MSBs must:

  1. report suspicious Monetary transactions; and
  2. Do another KYC check when converting or transferring money according to regulations.

With effect from June 1, 2021, the above obligations of MSBs extend to transactions in virtual currencies. MSBs are also required care for and Submit Transaction records for transfers of virtual currencies over C $ 10,000 in a single transaction or over C $ 10,000 over several transactions within 24 hours (large VC transactions) and report these large VC transactions to FINTRAC.

In addition, the following KYC obligations will be expanded to apply to all REs:

  1. Business relationships: All REs must determine when a business relationship was established with a customer and keep a record of such business relationships.
  2. Politically exposed people: All REs must determine if customers are “Politically Exposed Persons” and conduct additional risk assessments in relation to those customers.
  3. Advantageous possession: All REs are required to keep records of a company and verify its identity, collect information on ownership, control structure and names of directors.
  4. Ongoing monitoring all KYC information from all REs.

background

The above changes are part of a broader multi-tiered overhaul of the AML regulatory framework aimed at addressing new challenges caused by the emerging cryptocurrency industry in Canada and are in line with aspects of the Canadian Securities Administrator Three year business plan Modernize the regulatory regime for crypto trading and crypto assets in Canada.

The first major revision came into force on June 1, 2020, whereby persons or organizations that “trade in virtual currencies” are required to register as MSB with FINTRAC. This means that those currently engaged in virtual money transfer or exchange services had to already be registered as MSBs. MSBs have ongoing reporting, record keeping, KYC and compliance requirements. The upcoming changes are designed to ensure that the activities of new MSBs from the first update are captured under the general obligations of all MSBs, and to harmonize the ongoing obligations of REs to transactions in virtual currencies in addition to traditional monetary transactions.

As of June 1, 2021, “virtual currency” will be defined in the provisions on the reporting of income from crime (money laundering) and terrorist financing (SOR / 2001-317) as well as in the provisions on income from crime (money laundering) and terrorist financing as follows:

(a) a digital representation of value that can be used for payment or investment purposes that is not fiat currency and that is easily exchangeable for Funds or any other virtual currency that is easily exchangeable for Funds; or

(b) a private key of a cryptographic system that enables a person or organization to access a digital representation of value in accordance with paragraph (a).

Applicable companies trading virtual currencies should take steps to ensure that they will be able to comply with the rules when they go into effect. The Bennett Jones Fintech and blockchain team can advise and support you in managing these and other changes to the crypto regulatory regime.

Remarks:

1. See https://canadagazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p2/2019/2019-07-10/html/sor-dors240-eng.html and https://canadagazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p2/2020/2020-06-10/html/sor-dors112-eng.html for the full text of the changes.