December 8, 2021

Volume XI, Number 342

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December 07, 2021

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December 06, 2021

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FINCEN Seeks the Assistance of Financial Institutions in the Fight Against Environmental Crimes

On November 18, 2021, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued a Notice “to call attention to an upward trend in environmental crimes and associated illicit financial activity.”  This focus on environmental crimes is designed to help address FinCEN’s priorities previously announced on June 30, 2021.  FinCEN also noted that this focus aligns with priorities of other countries around the world, including the United Nations, and the G7 and G20.  The Notice creates new guidelines for financial institutions to follow when filing  a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR). SARs have long been an important tool for detecting a wide variety of financial crimes including money laundering.  But the type of reportable red flags has now been significantly broadened. For example, financial institutions filing a SAR must detail if the suspicious activity relates to environmental crimes, including by providing “any available details concerning how the illicit product, plant, or waste was solicited, acquired, stored, transported, financed, and paid for.”   As FinCEN points out in the Notice: “Environmental crimes encompass illegal activity that harm human health, and harm nature and natural resources by damaging environmental quality, including increasing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, driving biodiversity loss, and causing the overexploitation of natural resources. This category of crimes includes (i) wildlife trafficking, (ii) illegal logging, (iii) illegal fishing, (iv) illegal mining, and (v) waste and hazardous substances trafficking”.

For more detailed information, the Notice may be found here.

As a prelude to the issuance of the Notice, FinCEN held a virtual exchange “focused on identifying and combatting illicit financial flows associated with environmental crimes and related money laundering.”

©1994-2021 Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 328
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About this Author

Pete S. Michaels MIntz Member Securities Litigation White Collar Defense & Government Investigations Arbitration, Mediation,
Member

Pete focuses his practice on securities litigation, regulatory proceedings involving financial service companies and products, and compliance matters. He represents multinational and regional financial services firms, including banks, broker-dealers, investment advisers, mutual fund firms, and insurance companies as well as their employees, directors, and officers.

Pete’s extensive experience with securities disputes includes class actions, state and federal court cases, arbitration, and related employment matters. He also represents clients before a wide range of federal, state and...

617-348-4861
Michael E. Pastore Of Counsel Mintz Class Action Securities Litigation White Collar Defense & Government Investigations Arbitration, Mediation, ADR
Of Counsel

Michael focuses his practice on representing banks, financial services, and other companies in litigation and government proceedings involving consumer protection and other laws. He also handles arbitrations and guides clients through government and internal investigations. He represents publicly traded companies in a variety of industries, including retail and manufacturing, as well as Internet start-ups.

Michael’s extensive experience with consumer protection laws includes the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), Truth in Lending Act (TILA...

617-239-8427
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