April 25, 2019

In this article, Jenner & Block Partner Wade Thomson and Associate E.K. McWilliams discuss the ramifications of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s (FinCEN) $35,000.00 fine against a cryptocurrency “exchanger,” Eric Powers.  The action against Mr. Powers marks the first time that FinCEN assessed a civil penalty against a peer-to-peer (P2P) exchanger of convertible virtual currency.  Mr. Powers was fined for a variety of violations including breach of, “the Bank Secrecy Act’s registration program and reporting requirements by failing to register as a Money Services Business, failure to have anti-money laundering compliance policies or procedures in place, failing to conduct know-your-customer due diligence, and failing to report suspicious transactions and currency transactions.”  The article explains that virtual currency exchangers must be aware of these regulations and adhere to them regardless of transaction size.  Those who willfully ignore the obligations, like Mr. Powers, will suffer the consequences.