Regulation

Maxine Waters Wants Treasury To Beef Up AML Enforcement

California Congresswoman Maxine Waters has some questions for the Treasury Department about what it intends to do to beef up security — particularly with regards to anti-money laundering rules.

In her opening statement during a Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance hearing entitled, “Financial Intelligence and Enforcement: Treasury’s Role in Safeguarding the American Financial System,” Waters asked Treasury Under Secretary Sigal Mandelker to discuss his priorities as the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence’s newly confirmed Under Secretary.

The questions were … somewhat pointed … and seemed somewhat directed at particular instances of money laundering Representative Waters might be especially interested in.

“Given your role in overseeing FinCEN’s activities, I am hoping you can shed light on whether proactively notifying law enforcement about potential violations of law is a priority for you, including, and in particular, when such violations may relate to the President, members of his immediate family, his cabinet and Russian oligarchs subject to U.S. sanctions,” Waters noted in her opening statement to the committee.

“Given the latest revelations about Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’ business entanglements with sanctioned Russian persons, I do hope you are paying serious attention to this matter,” she continued.

Waters also brought up anti-money laundering reform in general — specifically in regards to “closing a number of gaping loopholes that I’m hopeful this Committee can address legislatively and that you would also support.”

Specifically, Waters requested that minimum anti-money laundering requirements be applied to persons involved in real estate settlements and closings, that beneficial ownership disclosures be required for anonymous shell companies, and that a strategy be put in place to defer the costs of “wholesale de-risking and its adverse consequences, particularly for vulnerable populations.”

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