James McAndrew to attend a meeting with the House Financial Services Committee, on behalf of his client base, to discuss their proposed legislation to add dealers in art and antiquity to the list of regulated financial institutions under the Bank Secrecy Act (1991). Such legislation would subject the art trade to enormous regulatory and reporting requirements that, if not done in accordance with financial industry standards, could result in significant fines ,penalties, and even criminal liability.
The House Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee held a hearing on April 27, 2018 to review the implementation of the Financial Criminal Enforcement Network’s (FinCEN) Customer Due Diligence (CDD) Rule from the point of view of financial institutions. A few weeks prior to this hearing, in a closed door session, prosecutors from the U.S. Department of Justice and the New York District Attorney’s Office gave testimony leading the Committee to believe that the art and antiquity trade is opaque thus requiring strict regulation and compliance for anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT). Such AML/CFT compliance regulations are associated with financial institutions, not business or industry sectors. Legislation to impose AML/CFT regulations and reporting requirements on the art trade can have a significant detrimental effect. The only non-financial industry that FinCEN imposed AML/CFT compliance requirements in 2005 was dealers in jewelry, precious stones, and metals.
James McAndrew has extensive knowledge in AML/CFT compliance regulations. During his time as a Senior Special Agent with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and legacy U.S. Customs Service’s Office of Investigations, he was assigned to Operation Eldorado for more than a decade, their money laundering division, and successfully concluded civil and criminal investigations for money laundering and terrorist financing, asset forfeiture, and for violations of the Bank Secrecy Act, The USA Patriots Act, and other related laws and regulations.