WASHINGTON, November 6 (The FR) – The US Treasury Department will conduct an audit of the Financial Crimes Enforcement’s Network (FinCEN)’s protocols concerning cryptocurrency and anti-money laundering and terrorism financing risks, according to the agency’s oversight chief.
The Department of Treasury’s Office of the Inspector General plans to “determine how FinCEN identifies, prioritizes and addresses money laundering and terrorist financing risks associated with virtual currencies,” according to the Annual Plan for FY2018, which was released last week.
Treasury’s OIG has up to to $2.8 million available to spend until September 30, 2019 on audits and investigations, public records show.
“It’s a notable development that comes more than three years after FinCEN began publishing guidance for businesses working with cryptocurrencies like bitcoin,” CoinDesk’s Stan Higgins reports.
FinCEN’s charter is to enforce the Bank Secrecy Act and the PATRIOT Act.
In July, the Justice Department closed down the BTC-e cryptocurrency exchange for failing to implement know-your-client (KYC) verification and serving as a platform for Alexander Vinnik to allegedly launder money. FinCEN slapped BTC-e with a $110 million civil penalty “for willfully violating US anti-money laundering laws.” BTC-e, though, denied that it willfully violated any laws and that Vinnik was never the creator or operator of BTC-e.
The BTC-e domain is no longer operable, but the founders said in their Change.org petition to recoup funds that 55 percent of BTC-e’s funds had been returned and re-allocated via a new exchange dubbed wex.nz.