Each new administration, through its Attorney General, set policy as to the Department of Justice’s enforcement priorities. As the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division, Kenneth Polite recently outlined those priorities. In general, those areas include foreign corruption, computer crimes and money laundering.

Polite announced that his office will be unveiling a new National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team comprised of lawyers from the Division’s Computer Crime and Money Laundering Sections together with experienced AUSAs from around the country. This new initiative reflects the ongoing concern over the lack of regulations and enforcement of cryptocurrency and its use by cyber criminals, drug cartels and other money launderers around the world.

Continued emphasis will be placed on efforts to combat cyber-attacks and ransom demands from organized groups and state backed hackers from China, Russia and other countries. These ransomware attackers often demand payment in cryptocurrency as it is less traceable than traditional currency.

Other areas of enforcement will include healthcare fraud, opioid distribution, corporate compliance, and human trafficking. DOJ will bring together prosecutors from around the country, as well as agents from various federal law enforcement agencies and other partner agencies like the Commodities Trading Commission, SEC and FINCEN.

An adjunct to DOJ’s increased money laundering enforcement efforts is the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN) recent rule-making notice that it intends to draft “nationwide record keeping and reporting requirements” for certain participants in the non-financed real estate transactions that are made without mortgages or other lender provided credit. The purpose is to uncover money laundering activities in the approximately $460 billion annual cash real estate purchases in the United States. Presently, only banks and mortgage lenders have programs in place to report suspicious activities. FINCEN is considering how feasible it would be to add reporting requirements for title insurers, escrow companies, real estate attorneys and closing agents.

We have represented many doctors, pharmacists and marketing companies charged with healthcare fraud, and money laundering in federal court, as well as cryptocurrency and unregistered money transfer businesses. Stahl Criminal Defense is here for all your criminal legal needs. We are experienced in all types of complex criminal matters involving many types of electronic evidence. To contact the firm’s NJ office, call 908.301.9001 and to contact the firm’s NYC office, call 212.755.3300, or email Mr. Stahl at rstahl@stahlesq.com.