Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Saturday, August 31, 2019

BEHZAD MESRI, IRANIAN INTELLIGENCE OFFICER, NOW WORKING FOR IRGC, HACKING US INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES


HEZBOLLAH'S BANK SANCTIONED BY OFAC DENIES ALL; DECLARES IT WILL SEEK REMOVAL



Lebanon's Jammal Trust Bank (JTB), recently sanctioned by OFAC, has denied that it knowingly and regularly facilitated banking services for Hezbollah and asserted that it has strictly followed international Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Terrorist financing regulations, and regulations of the Central Bank of Lebanon. One US official labeled Jamal "Hezbollah's Bank of Choice."

The bank has indicated that it will now seek removal of the OFAC SDN designation. If it takes that step, the process with begin with the filing of a petition for removal. Note well that there is no right of access to the evidence on which the designation was based. If there is a denial, or no action is taken over an extended period of time, you can expect that suit will be filed in US District Court, though such court actions rarely succeed, as our reporting of such cases on this blog has proven. Most plaintiffs frankly deserve to be designated. In many cases, National Security issues seem to affect the outcome, as the courts appear to defer when the facts presented place the matter in that category.

While the evidence is obviously classified, Treasury's linking of JTB to Hezbollah, for providing of services to the terrorist group's Executive Council, as well as Hezbollah-linked and controlled entities, appears to have a factual basis. JTB Bank's actions, if we look at recent relevant cases, will probably be futile. 




THE FARC RETURNS TO THE BATTLEFIELD IN COLOMBIA; EXPECT INCREASED MONEY LAUNDERING THROUGH PANAMA



Major elements of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - Peoples' Army, more commonly known as the FARC, a Marxist-Leninist movement  formed by the Communist Party of Colombia in 1964 to bring down the country's government through armed conflict, and which made its peace in a treaty back in 2016, have dissolved the agreement, and called for a return to armed struggle against the government of the Republic of Colombia. A video calling for FARC members to return to the jungle to renew their armed action has been widely distributed. 

The President of Colombia, Iván Duque, has called for the issuance of arrest warrants of the FARC leaders who made the announcement, and offered a reward of three million Colombian Pesos for information leading to their arrest ( $873,000).

Given the FARCs long history of extortion, narcotics trafficking, and kidnapping, compliance officers at international banks located in North America and in Western Europe, and knowing that the FARC typically uses the facilities of a number of Panama's "don't ask, don't tell"  money laundering banks, expect to see an increase in suspicious transactions originating in Panama. The FARC will soon be fully engaged in its criminal enterprises, to raise funds for its renewed military operations, and the excess will be placed and laundered overseas, as it always has been. Watch for it.

Friday, August 30, 2019

IS IRAN TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT THE DESTINATION OF THE IRANIAN OIL TANKER ?



Where on earth is the IRGC-controlled crude oil tanker Grace I (disregard Iran's name and flag change, please) going to dock and unload its sanction cargo ? When it was freed by Gibraltarian authorities, after Iran swore that it would not travel to its original destination of Syria. it was ostensibly headed to a port in Greece, notwithstanding US warnings of the consequences awaiting whoever offers the tanker safe harbor for unloading. Then, Greece said there was no agreement to accept the illicit oil, acceptance of which violates EU law.

Next, it was said to be headed for a port in Turkey, although that harbor could not accept an oil tanker of that size and draft. Then, Turkish authorities denied that it had been accepted to dock in Turkey. A subsequent story stated that the cargo had been purchased, bit no details were furnished.

Now, it seems that there is a problem with the truth; Turkey says its now going to Lebanon, but Lebanese authorities demur, and since Lebanon has neither a crude oil refinery, nor a history of buying crude, it most likely will not be dropping anchor there.

So where is this oil actually going ? The only place left is the pro-Iran government of Syria, the initial, albeit illegal and sanctioned, destination. Perhaps it was intended to end up there in any event, the smoke and mirrors of disinformation notwithstanding. If it ties up in Syria, it will be one more time that Iran's guarantees and representations are not to be trusted.

OFAC SANCTIONS PALESTINIAN TERRORIST FINANCIERS FUNDING HAMAS THRU HEZBOLLAH



OFAC has designated these Palestinians as terrorist financiers who facilitated the movement of tens of millions of dollars from Iran's IRGC, through Hezbollah's hands, to Hamas' Izz-Al-Din Brigade, its military arm. Bayt al-Mal, an OFAC-sanctioned bank known to be controlled by Hezbollah, was part of the finding operation.

(1)MOHAMMAD KAMAL AL-AYY,  Date of Birth 22 December 1970.
(2) KAMAL ABDELRAHMAN AWAD, Date of Birth 7 August 1978.
(3) FAWAZ MAHMUD NASSER, Date of Birth 23 January 1979.
(4) MOHAMMAD SARUR, Date of Birth 5 February 1967.

The first three individuals above are based in Gaza; Sarur is based in Baalbeck, Lebanon.

Further details are available on the Press Releases page at www.treasury.gov.


ALEKSEY POTEMKIN, RUSSIAN MILITARY INTELLIGENCE OFFICER INVOLVED IN HACKING 2016 US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION


Thursday, August 29, 2019

HEZBOLLAH'S BANK: OFAC SANCTIONS JAMMAL TRUST BANK SAL AND ITS AFFILIATES



Jammal Trust Bank SAL a/k/a JTB Bank has been sanctioned by OFAC, named a Specially Designated Global Terrorist Organization, for providing financial services to Hezbollah and its affiliates. It has been accused of knowingly facilitating banking activities for Hezbollah, "Jammal Trust has a longstanding relationship with a key Hezbollah financial entity, and provides financial services to Hezbollah's Executive Council and the Iran-based Martyrs Foundation."

The bank's Lebanon-based subsidiaries have also been designated:
(1) TRUST INSURANCE S.A.L.
(2) TRUST INSURANCE SERVICES S.A.L.
(3) TRUST LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY S.A.L.

The key Hezbollah financial entity mentioned above is AL-QARD AL-HASAN, an OFAC-sanctioned quasi-bank that engages in lending to Lebanon's Shi'ite community.






Readers who require the names of bank officers will find 42 of them at www.linkedin.com/
                                                         JTB Bank Directors


If you need additional information, the OFAC page is recommended. Access it here: https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-enforcement/Pages/20190829.aspx

HURRICANE MAY INTERFERE WITH UPDATES ON THIS BLOG



Be advised that the approaching Hurricane Dorian could impact whether we lose electricity, due to downed power lines, this weekend, and into early next week. Should this occur, it will affect the publication of new articles.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

HSBC SWISS PRIVATE BANK OFFICER WAS CLEARED; DID HE ASSIST IN SECURING HIS SUPERIOR'S GUILTY PLEA ?



Judah Elmaleh, formerly a senior executive at HSBC Holdings PLC, the Swiss Private Bank, was cleared of assisting wealthy clients hide assets from the French taxman. He had been under criminal investigation for three years; The bank's office is in Geneva.

Judges assigned to the case decided not to file criminal charges back in January, in a unreported ruling, most likely not to alert HSBC Holdings head Peter Braunwalder. who later pled guilty. The CEO assisted French nationals hide assets, evade taxes, and move wealth to Switzerland. He was given a one-year suspended sentence, and fined €500,000.

It is not known whether Elmaleh assisted in the prosecution of Braunwalder. The case, which involved €1.6bn held by wealth French businessmen, cost HSBC a €300m fine.

HOSSEIN LARIJANI $3m REWARD FOR VIOLATING IEEPA, ACQUIRED TECHNOLOGY USED IN IMPROVISED EXPLOSIVE DEVICES


Tuesday, August 27, 2019

ARE THE COSIGNERS OF TRUMP'S BILLION DOLLARS IN DEUTSCHE BANK LOANS RUSSIAN OLIGARCHS ?



Tonight's unconfirmed reports allege that Deutsche Bank's Trump files show that there are a number of cosigners on a large part of Trump's estimated $2bn+ loans, and that those cosigners are Russian Oligarchs. Those individuals are billionaires who acquired their wealth when the Soviet Union collapsed, and a number of powerful Russian nationals stole billions of dollars in wealth and assets.

We have no confirmation regarding this information, and are actively seeking to determine its accuracy. The information was broadcast on  an NBC News cable station, MSNBC.

SENIOR LIEUTANENT IN GRU HACKED INTO 2016 US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION


DEUTSCHE BANK RESPONDS TO COURT ORDER FOR INFORMATION ON TRUMP TAX RETURNS WITH DOUBLETALK



If you read our recent article, Deutsche Bank and Capital One refuse to Disclose to Appeals Court, you probably want to know whether Deutsche Bank, whose attorney went to great pains to avoid admitting whether it holds Trump's tax returns, actually has them.

The Court, after reportedly showing its irritation at counsel's position, then ordered that the information be produced today by 4:00 PM:

 And the relevant portions of Deutsche Bank's reply letter appear below:


The reply, in legalese, amount to doubletalk; "the Bank has in its possession tax returns ... responsive to the Subpoenas....  but it also stated " The Bank does not believe that it possesses tax returns responsive to the Subpoenas for individuals named in the Subpoenas other than those identified above.

If you dissect the reply, it would appear that the Bank has Trump's tax returns, the furnishing of which which is standard operating practice for most large bank loan applicants, and this is common knowledge. So why did the Bank try to weasel out of admitting it ? Where is it in the Right of Privacy or other statutory privilege that allows the Bank to decline to admit whether or not it possesses the tax returns ? Whether this really is about a recognized privilege, or about the ability to delay proceedings to serve a prominent bank client for political purposes remains an open question. 

Monday, August 26, 2019

FINMA GUIDANCE ON BLOCKCHAIN PAYMENTS ISSUED

The Swiss regulator FINMA has issued a Guidance on Blockchain Payments. It appears below.




HAMAS ACTIVELY SEEKING TERRORIST FINANCING THROUGH BITCOIN ONLINE



HAMAS' Qassam Brigades, its so-called "military branch."  is up and online, asking its supporters for donations via Bitcoin. It is even assigning a unique BTC Wallet Address to those who choose to donate to the Specially Designated Global Terrorist Organization,which means any donation from a US citizen or lawful resident violates OFAC, and could constitute Providing Material Support to a Designated Terrorist Organization, a Federal felony.

Readers who wish to access the website for research purposes only may find it at www.qassam.ps  DO NOT attempt to donate any Bitcoin.

MONEY LAUNDERING THROUGH LIFE SETTLEMENTS OFTEN ELUDES DETECTION



Due to a question received, concerning our article discussing the recent decision of the New Jersey Supreme Court, holding that Life Settlements are void under state law, for lack of an Insurable Interest*, we will discuss how money launderers use that type of investment to clean the proceeds of crime.
 
Life Settlements are investments in high value life insurance policies of elderly insureds who generally have chronic health problems, and are selling policies they no longer need or can afford. The investors usually purchase a policy from a broker, at a substantial discount, and receive the payment, as beneficiaries, when the insured passes away, and the policy matures. They are responsible for paying the premiums during the remainder of the insured's lifetime, and companies handling the sale of life settlements to investors escrow sufficient funds to cover that expense, based upon the assessed life expectancy of the insured.

Since many insured pass away, due to illness, in advance of their estimated life expectancy, the profit can be substantial, and far above what are regarded as normal Returns on Investment. Many large German banks and American billionaires are known to have large numbers of life settlements, mainly in the multi-million dollar range. The highest return that I ever saw

When US law enforcement boarded a drug-laden vessel in the Pacific Ocean, intercepted before it could reach the United States, they found evidence in the pilot house that the traffickers had purchased a substantial number of life settlements from a Colombia-based broker.

If you were wondering how dodgy individuals seeking to launder the proceeds of can collect from America's largest insurance companies, here how it is done. Most of the high value insurance policies are, for tax, financial planning, or privacy purposes, owned and held in the name of trusts and corporations, who are also the beneficiaries. Money launderers buying the policies for clients simply substitute themselves, or their customers, as beneficiaries of the trusts, or shareholders of the corporations owning the policies. There is no change of ownership of the policies themselves with the insurance companies. Nobody at the insurance company has reason to learn about the sale of the policies.

When the policies mature, the insurance companies pay out to the entity that owns the policies, not knowing that the ultimate beneficiaries are criminal elements, or their nominees. Given the fact that most banks trust that any life insurance benefits check they receive was issued to a beneficiary long ago vetted and approved by the insuror, they never question it. After all, would any insurance company make payment to a beneficiary if there was a question of any sort ?

Of course, the laundryman has already set up an account to receive the insurance proceeds payment. Given its legitimate origin, the money is now clean, and available to be invested in the legitimate economy. Bankers need to look closely at life insurance policy payments, for things are not always what they seem to be.

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* New Jersey Supreme Court holds Life Settlements violate State Law

Sunday, August 25, 2019

ARE DEUTSCHE BANK KYC FILE SECRETS THE REASON TRUMP IS FIGHTING DISCLOSURE IN COURT?




With all the hoopla concerning the flat refusal of Deutsche Bank's attorneys to state whether their client possesses copies of the tax returns of the Trump family, and all its corporate entities, perhaps there's something that's the real reason the bank is fighting, tooth and nail, the disclosure of its Trump files to Congress.We attach two pages, taken from Exhibit A of the subpoena, both of which clearly require that all the KYC files were to be produced.

Given that the reported amount owed by Trump ranges from $130m to over $2bn, is it really that the Know Your Customer files betray the fact that little, if any, due diligence was performed, and that's why DB is afraid to give up the compliance files ? Or something even more sinister: that the compliance files disclose that Trump owes many millions to certain Russian banks that, by definition, present serious Conflict of Interest for the President.



Given that the District Court Judge properly ordered the files released, and the appellate judges took issue with the refusal of the DB attorneys to admit that their client holds trump tax returns, and even openly considered obtaining an order of court to obtain them, the outcome will most likely favor Congress. At that point, we may then uncover the truth behind the dogfight that Trump is conducting, to prevent the public from learning the dark secret.




RUSSIAN GRU OFFICER WANTED FOR HACKING IN 2016 US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION


DMITRIY BADIN

Saturday, August 24, 2019

ARMS TRAFFICKER SELLING ANTI-AIRCRAFT MISSILES, LINKED TO HEZBOLLAH AND IRAN, SENTENCED TO 30 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON



Rami Najim Asad-Ghanem, a major black-market arms trafficker whose clients included Iran, Hezbollah, and Libyan militants, was sentenced in US District Court in Los Angeles to thirty years in Federal Prison. He was convicted in November 2018, on seven counts, including money laundering, unlicensed export of weapons and ammunition, smuggling, conspiracy, and unlicensed arms brokering. Asad, who was arrested in Greece, and extradited to the US, was born in Jordan; he is a naturalized US citizen.

The defendant dealt in surface-to-air and anti-tank missiles, military-grade weapons and ammunition, and was said to have offered to purchase helicopters and fighter planes for Iran and Hezbollah, for delivery to them in Iraq. he reportedly bragged to an undercover law enforcement agent of his close ties to both Hezbollah and Iran.

Asad, though a US citizen, operated out of Egypt; he not only sold $250m of weapons to a terrorist organization in Libya, but he also had a role in the trafficking of counterfeit currency, stolen antiquities, and black-market diamonds. He brokered the sale of Russian-made Strela and Igla surface-to-air systems, including the supplying of mercenaries as missile operators, to his clients; he was repeatedly referred to by Federal prosecutors as the "Merchant of Death."

Asad's close relationship with both Hezbollah and the Government of Iran is disturbing, as Hezbollah has repeatedly claimed that it was in the process of acquiring anti-aircraft missiles, to use to attack fighter aircraft of the State of Israel, which often overfly Lebanese airspace when attacking targets in Syria. Those advanced weapons systems were destined for Hezbollah-controlled South Lebanon.



IRANIAN TANKER SEIZED IN GIBRALTAR NOW BOUND FOR TURKEY



Maritime information sources are now asserting that the Grace 1,  now renamed the Adrian Darya 1,  and flying the Iranian, and no longer St Kitts, flag, is now headed for the port of Mersin*, in Turkey. The vessel, loaded with Iranian crude, and believed to be under the control of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC),  was originally said to be bound for Greece. Greece is a Member of the EU, and therefore subject to its sanctions against Iran; Turkey, although it has attempted to acquire EU membership for years, is not.

The vessel was detained by Gibraltarian law enforcement, with the assistance of the British Royal marines, when it entered territorial waters, en route to a Syrian refinery owned by a sanctioned entity. The United States unsuccessfully sought to seize the crude oil tanker, due to the fact that it was under IRGC control. The IRGC was sanctioned by OFAC in 2017,  for providing material support to designated terrorist organization.

We have previously detailed US efforts in this matter, including a recent action brought in US District  Court in Washington, on this blog.  See Supreme Court of Gibraltar rules against US on Iranian Tanker Seizure.
______________________________________________________________________
* Mersin is not a deep water port; it cannot accommodate the Adrian Darya 1. It is, however, not far from the sanctioned Syrian refinery that was its original, albeit illegal, destination.

Friday, August 23, 2019

US TREASURY DOMINICAN REPUBLIC KINGPIN CHART


DEUTSCHE BANK AND CAPITAL ONE REFUSE TO DISCLOSE TO APPEALS COURT



In what must be regarded as one of the most arrogant recent acts committed by banks operating in the United States, attorneys for Deutsche Bank and Capital One flatly refused to disclose to the judges of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals whether they have, in their records, copies of President Donald Trump or Trump Organization tax returns. The banks failed to cite any recognized privilege or statutory authority for their refusal, claiming instead some vague "contractual obligation," to their client. Their conduct could qualify as Contempt of Court.

One of the judges mentioned that they might enter an order of court requiring an answer. The issues came up during oral argument.The attorneys  were ordered to provide letters to the Court, under seal, within 48 hours, indicating whether their clients held those tax returns.



The appeal is from a District Court decision ordering the two banks to comply with the subpoenas, and deliver their records on Trump to the plaintiff, the House of Representatives. Deutsche Bank reportedly is owed more that $130m* by Trump and the Trump Organization. It is not known what role Capital One has played in lending to Trump; all the major lenders in the US have reportedly red-lined the Trump group after seven bankruptcies.

An attorney for the House of Representatives stated that one of the purposes of the subpoenas is to inquire into possible money laundering activities, and to determine the President's financial dealings with foreign powers, especially Russia.

Rafael Prober


For those readers who wanted to know which Deutsche Bank attorney actually told the three judge appellate panel that the bank's "contractual & statutory obligations" precluded it from advising the Court whether it possessed Trump tax returns, it was Rafael Prober. 
____________________________________________________________________________
* Some sources claim that trump owes Deutsche Bank more than two billion dollars.


BELATED ADMISSION THAT HAMZI BIN LADIN WAS KILLED TWO YEARS AGO REMINDS US THAT OVERCLASSIFICATION IN THE GLOBAL WAR ON TERROR HINDERS FINANCIAL SECTOR ACTION



Two years after the fact, the Department of Defense has finally admitted that Hamza Bin Ladin, the son and apparent heir of Osama, was killed in an unspecified military operation by US forces. No details, not even the country in which the action occurred, were disclosed, reportedly for security reasons. Hamza, called the "Crown Prince of Al-Qaeda" by some, is believed to have been approximately thirty years of age. The DoD spokesman was singularly opaque about the matter.

Compliance officers at international banks, which are charged with suppressing terrorist financing, often express the opinion that over-classification of the details of military actions against terrorist organizations or agents hinders their ability to properly assess Country Risk on high-risk jurisdictions. There are often substantial delays in the public release of critical information about terrorists, which affect risk levels regarding terrorist financing, and press conferences in the Pentagon have essentially stopped since 2017, resulting in even more diminished aceess to information. 

Let me express the problem in banking terms. For example, if a compliance officer at a bank that services an international clientele fails to learn that an immediate family member of an existing client was detained as a member of a terrorist organization, while stopping an imminent attack, the bank client might continue to operate a program of terrorist financing through the bank. Had compliance been given that information timely, it might have been able to shut down an important source of terrorist funding, which then exposed the bank to subsequent regulatory fines & penalties, reputation damage, and possible negative publicity, in the future.



I have served in our armed forces in a combat environment, in the field. While I fully understand the need to deny the members of terrorist organizations tactical information that could cause them to adjust their operations, and elude capture or elimination in military action, a substantial amount of tactical intelligence that could assist our financial institutions in dealing with terrorist financing suppression is not sensitive, and could he shared without endangering our forces.  

Thursday, August 22, 2019

XIAOBING YAN DECLARED A KINGPIN BY OFAC; INDICTED BACK IN 2017


LE FANGWEI, a/k/a KARL LEE, BALLISTIC MISSLE TECHOLOGY SUPPLIER TO IRAN, STILL ACTIVE IN DALIAN, CHINA


80 INDICTED IN NIGERIAN FRAUD AND MONEY LAUNDERING CASE IN LOS ANGELES


If you are a compliance officer in Los Angeles, you may want to review this 145-page Federal Indictment, naming 80 defendants, accused of wire and mail fraud, identity theft, and money laundering. Most of them appear to be Nigerian nationals.

You may find some of your bank clients in the filing. United States of America vs. Valentine Iro et al, Case No: 19-CR-00380-fmd ( C.D.CA. 2019). Read the Indictment here.
 

ESTIMATES OF CBI INCOME DIVERTED FROM DOMINICA TREASURY REACH $1.2bn

 
Public discontent in the Commonwealth of Dominica boiled over this week, after estimates of the total amount of Citizenship by Investment (CBI) payments illegally diverted into the pockets of corrupt government leaders increase to $1.2bn. Local media is saturated with grievances by the public, demanding to know where all the CBI money went, and who received it.

Protest inside Dominica this week


 Government attempts at disinformation, by securing a  favorable audit report, conducted by Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), have been discounted, especially after it was revealed that a CBI consultancy,  CS Global Partners, commissioned the study. CS Global is reportedly a major provider of CBI applicants for Dominica.
 
Opposition leaders in Dominica have asserted that information regarding diverted CBI payments was concealed from PwC. Readers who wish to review the 22-page report, entitled Assessment of the Commonwealth of Dominica's Citizenship by Investment Programme, may access the complete text here.



Unfortunately, the total lack of of any government internal oversight in Dominica means that there will not be any meaningful investigation or inquiry into the financial affairs of senior government officials, elected or appointed. It should be noted, however, that pending investigations in North America, conducted by law enforcement agencies of the United States and Canada, into real estate investments placed with laundered money by corrupt Eastern Caribbean leaders, may provide justice for the people of Dominica. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

ST KITTS PULLS ITS FLAG FROM YET ANOTHER LOADED IRANIAN OIL TANKER, DESTINATION: SANCTIONED SYRIA


MT BONITA QUEEN


The Government of St Kitts & Nevis has reportedly abruptly cancelled the vessel registration of the MT BONITA QUEEN, an Iranian crude oil tanker, which has taken on a cargo of crude at the terminal at Kharg island, and has sailed for an internationally-sanctioned destination in Syria. Apparently, St Kitts fears US push back should another vessel flying the SKN flag enter the Mediterranean, bound for Syria. Perhaps the Kittitians might want to cancel ALL the Iranian oil tankers it has on its maritime registry.




Will the US seize the ship and cargo ? This vessel is of particular concern, since there are now issues of doubt regarding the destination of the now-released GRACE 1, allegedly now destined for Greece, who has subsequently demurred.  

FIRAS DARDAR, MEMBER OF SYRIAN ELECTRONIC ARMY, HACKED US GOVT AGENCIES


TURKEY'S ZIRAAT BANK BREAKS TIES WITH CENTRAL BANK OF VENEZUELA


Most likely fearing sanctions enforcement action by the United States, Turkey's Ziraat Bank has closed its correspondent accounts at, and terminated its relationship with the Banco Central de Venezuela (BCV),  Venezuela's Central Bank. Ziraat allegedly operated as a clearing house for transactions between Venezuela and Turkey, exchanging Turkish Lira for more suitable currency.



We have been warning our readers about Ziraat Bank on this blog since 2012. You are advised to review our prior arrticles:

(1) Russia Investigating Money Laundering in Four Turkish Banks that Operate in Russia, December 27, 2015.

(2) American Regulators show interest in Turkish Banks as Sanctions Evasion Facilitators, July 14, 2014.

(3) Are Five Turkish Banks in Iraq assisting Iran in Sanctions Evasion ? December 2, 2012.


NEW JERSEY SUPREME COURT HOLDS LIFE SETTLEMENTS VIOLATE STATE LAW

The Supreme Court of New Jersey, in a decision based upon the state's Insurable interest statute, has held that Life Settlements, investments by third parties in large life insurance policies violate the Laws of New Jersey, and its Constitution, and the policies are void ab initio.

An Insurance Interest is an interest in an individual which would result in a financial loss or hardship, in the event of death. Immediate family members of the insured, businesses that would suffer from his demise, or who are creditors also qualify. All others may not acquire an interest in a life insurance policy naming him as the insured.

The case involved a $5m life insurance policy acquired by investors who were not related to the insured, and had no other Insurable Interest. The Court stated that the policy was a wager on the life of another, and violates New Jersey's public policy. Three other states have addressed the same issue.

This decision is relevant to compliance, due to the fact that Life Settlements, which are investments in the secondary market for life insurance, are often owned by business associations or trusts, and beneficial ownership can be accomplished without the insuror becoming aware, thereby allowing the proceeds of crime to be laundered through life settlements, and reap a substantial return, when the insured passes away. When a bank client seeks to deposit a very large check from a life insurance company in the name of a trust or corporation, the circumstances may demand inquiry into whether the payment was from a life settlement investment.