February 25, 2015

Court Reins In Prosecutorial Overreach in Insider Trading Cases

In an effort to reinstate powers stripped from them by the Court of Appeals in U.S. v. Newman and Chiasson, prosecutors have sought a rehearing of the landmark Second Circuit decision which severely curtailed the scope of insider trading cases. The case is one which has already seen a dramatic reversal, so it is perhaps… Read More

January 20, 2015

The World Wide Tax Web: FATCA Data Sharing Goes Online

The IRS has unveiled a secure web application, the International Data Exchange Service (IDES), for cross-border data sharing. IDES will allow Foreign Financial Institutions (FFIs) and tax authorities from other countries to transmit financial data on U.S. taxpayers’ accounts, via an encrypted pathway, to the IRS. The tool is part of the IRS’s effort to… Read More

September 10, 2014

More Money, More Problems – Another Billion Dollar Settlement for the DOJ

This summer BNP Paribas, one of the five largest banks in the world, agreed to a $9 billion settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice. The settlement figure may seem nothing short of economic shock and awe; indeed it was the largest criminal penalty in U.S. history. What could justify such a staggering fine and… Read More

September 3, 2014

FATCA: Trapped by the Land of the Free?

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) has been billed as the U.S.’s bold effort to go after tax dodgers and cheats. The picture painted is that of greedy rich people secreting their fortunes in offshore accounts and away from poor Uncle Sam. But this is not a fair representation of FATCA’s impact or reach…. Read More

August 12, 2014

Bitcoin Equal to Money According to District Court Ruling

Is it possible to commit money laundering with virtual currency? At least one federal judge thinks so. Last month, U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest refused to dismiss a money laundering charge premised on the use of a Bitcoin-based payment system. She is the first federal judge to hold that the federal money laundering statute is… Read More

May 22, 2014

The Taxman Cometh for US Holders of Foreign Bank Accounts

U.S. citizens and residents with unreported assets abroad may be feeling a steady increase of pressure these days. The July 1, 2014 effective date of the Foreign Assets Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is looming. The number of countries that have agreed to enforce FATCA is growing (almost daily). That means the banks in those countries… Read More

April 18, 2014

Are High Frequency Traders Playing Fast and Loose With the Rules?

When high frequency trading (HFT) first crept into the public consciousness, it related to primarily to the question of whether rapid, computer driven trading posed risks to the safety and stability of the trading markets.  Now it appears that HFT may have also been a means for some traders to gain a possible illegal advantage…. Read More

April 16, 2014

Offshore Accounts? IRS is Watching

If you have unreported income from offshore accounts, now may be the best time to come forward and report those earnings; otherwise, you may be susceptible to criminal prosecution. The IRS initially began this open-ended Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) in 2009 and later renewed it in 2011. Due to strong interest from previous years,… Read More

April 4, 2014

My, What Long Arms You Have, Uncle

Here’s a visual: Uncle Sam extending his arms around the world, reaching out for his citizens, wherever they may be. He may resemble a candy-striped Gumby, with disproportionately long rubbery arms spanning the globe. The visual is not an endearing one to many Americans abroad. They do not see Uncle Sam’s reach as an embrace,… Read More

February 21, 2014

Banks Shy Away From Processing Marijuana Transactions in Colorado – Will Anyone Step Up?

Last Friday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Treasury, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen), both published new guidance in connection with the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado. Because marijuana use remains illegal under federal law, the banking industry is prohibited from servicing any marijuana-related bank accounts. This forces the recreational marijuana… Read More