Cortez Masto cosponsors bill cracking down on money laundering, drug trafficking, and ransomware

U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto
U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto(KVVU)
Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 1:03 PM PDT
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WASHINGTON D.C., Virginia (KOLO) - U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto is cosponsoring a bill that would crack down on crypto-money laundering, drug trafficking, and ransomware.

She joins Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), Roger Marshall (R-Kansas), Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) in in cosponsoring the bill that has been dubbed the Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act.

The legislation would:

  • Extend Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) responsibilities, including Know-Your-Customer requirements, to digital asset wallet providers, miners, validators, and other network participants that may act to validate, secure, or facilitate digital asset transactions.
  • Address a major gap with respect to “unhosted” digital wallets – which allow individuals to bypass AML and sanctions checks – by directing FinCEN to finalize and implement its December 2020 proposed rule, which would require banks and money service businesses (MSBs) to verify customer and counterparty identities, keep records, and file reports in relation to certain digital asset transactions involving unhosted wallets or wallets hosted in non-BSA compliant jurisdictions.
  • Direct FinCEN to issue guidance to financial institutions on mitigating the risks of handling, using, or transacting with digital assets that have been anonymized using digital asset mixers and other anonymity-enhancing technologies.
  • Strengthen enforcement of BSA compliance by directing the Treasury Department to establish an AML/CFT compliance examination and review process for MSBs and other digital asset entities with BSA obligations and directing the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission to establish AML/CFT compliance examination and review processes for the entities they regulate.
  • Extend BSA rules regarding reporting of foreign bank accounts to include digital assets by requiring United States persons engaged in a transaction with a value greater than $10,000 in digital assets through one or more offshore accounts to file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) with the Internal Revenue Service.
  • Mitigate the illicit finance risks of digital asset ATMs by directing FinCEN to ensure that digital asset ATM owners and administrators regularly submit and update the physical addresses of the kiosks they own or operate and verify customer and counterparty identity.

“We must stop transnational drug cartels and other criminal organizations from funding their illegal activity through cryptocurrencies,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “Our bipartisan bill will make sure cryptocurrency companies follow the same rules as banks, close loopholes that criminals are taking advantage of, and give our financial institutions the necessary tools to go after bad actors. I will keep working across the aisle to protect Nevada communities and families.”