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S. 2563 (116th): ILLICIT CASH Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Sep 26, 2019.

Improving Laundering Laws and Increasing Comprehensive Information Tracking of Criminal Activity in Shell Holdings Act or the ILLICIT CASH Act

This bill expands disclosure requirements regarding the ownership of corporations and sets forth additional requirements regarding anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism programs (known as AML-CFT programs).

Corporations must disclose their beneficial owners to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). The bill defines a beneficial owner as an individual who (1) exercises substantial control over a corporation or limited liability company, (2) owns 25% or more of the interest in a corporation or limited liability company, or (3) receives substantial economic benefits from the assets of a corporation or limited liability company.

The bill also generally expands and revises existing AML-CFT provisions, including by

compelling foreign banks to comply with subpoenas for records and allowing fines for foreign banks that fail to comply, establishing a financial institution liaison at FinCEN, initiating a review of thresholds for currency transaction reports and suspicious activity reports, and expanding the regulation of digital currencies. The bill also requires increased communication and data sharing between law enforcement, financial regulators, and financial institutions.

The bill provides statutory authority for the Securities and Exchange Commission to seek disgorgement (i.e., repayment) as a remedy for unjust enrichment that a person gained through a securities law violation.

The bill also revises administrative requirements of FinCEN, including by revising the pay scale of employees.