Helping Global Companies Avoid Money Laundering

August 8, 2014. Philadelphia, PA

   The Pennsylvania Bar Institute and The International Business Initiative of the Philadelphia Bar Association announce the following presentation:

Helping Global Companies Avoid Money Laundering

Understand why the topic of money laundering has gone from being
an obscure banking issue to a legal juggernaut

3 Total CLE credits, all of which may be applied toward Ethics

Friday, August 22, 2014
12:30 – 3:45 pm

Pennsylvania Bar Institute
CLE Conference Center
Wanamaker Building, 10th Floor 


J. Michael Considine, Jr., Esq.

J. Michael Considine, Jr., P.C., Chairman, The International Business Initiative

of the Philadelphia Bar Association

Lynne Lechter, Esquire, General Counsel, LEFA International, King of Prussia, PA

Ernest Sasso, Esquire, Washington’s Crossing, PA

Heather A. Lowe, Esq.
Legal Counsel & Director of Government AffairsGlobal Finance Integrity (GFI)Washington, DC

Jill M. Williamson, Esq.,
Associate General Counsel & Compliance OfficerLiquidity Services, Inc.Washington, DC 

Money laundering, integrating the proceeds of crime into the legitimate financial system, has been grabbing headlines over the past year. Attorneys, whether operating in firms or as in-house counsel, are considered to be a class of people who may be “facilitators” of money laundering in the international policy realm.

We have all heard about HSBC’s $1.9 billion fine, but did you know they only began focusing on HSBC after New York investigators found that a children’s clothing company in Columbia was using invoices for their sale of clothing to New York to disguise co-mingled drug money? The Columbian clothing company banked with HSBC. What if your company was also a purchaser of children’s clothing from that Columbian company? Could your company have unwittingly engaged in what is called trade-based money laundering?

The answer is YES, and it happens much more often than you might imagine, with a myriad of types of goods.

In addition to risks for companies and corporate counsel, the legal profession is under considerable pressure from both domestic and international sources to implement effective risk-based measures to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. In 1989, the world’s major industrialized nations created an intergovernmental body known as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). In 2008, FATF adopted risk-based guidance for the legal profession.

On May 23, the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility shed some light on that issue in its Formal Opinion 463, titled “Client Due Diligence, Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing.” By implementing the risk-based control measures detailed in the good practices guidance where appropriate, lawyers can avoid aiding illegal activities in a manner consistent with the Model Rules.

Every practitioner who handles transactions, or manages client accounts/assets or contributions to companies, or creates companies, needs to understand what steps to take in higher-risk situations to avoid being part of a money laundering scheme – and avoid civil and criminal liability!

In this afternoon CLE, expert faculty will offer guidance and highlight:

  • ·    Why it’s not just about banks – companies trading in goods and services are at primary risk

  • ·    How to recognize situations, countries, and industries where money laundering risk is higher

  • ·    What you need to know about your contract counterparties

  • ·    The potential penalties for civil and criminal liability

  • ·    Why voluntary compliance is important

  • ·    Resources available for guidance and training – ABA Formal Opinion 463 and ABA “Voluntary Good Practices Guidance For Lawyers to Detect and Combat Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing”

  • ·    What is on the regulatory and enforcement horizon