Anti-Money Laundering

In a fast-changing regulatory environment, complying with domestic and international money laundering laws and regulations is an ongoing challenge. Venable’s Anti-Money Laundering (AML) team understands this shifting landscape. We have the experience necessary to help you minimize risk, through individually tailored compliance programs and controls, to work with regulators and law enforcement at both the state and federal levels, and, if necessary, to conduct an investigation with minimal impact to your business.

Regulatory Compliance

Venable counsels clients on the full spectrum of laws and regulations that impact AML compliance, including the Bank Secrecy Act, USA PATRIOT Act, FinCEN regulations, OFAC sanctions, and criminal money laundering statutes. Our attorneys also routinely work with counsel outside the U.S. to ensure compliance with the AML laws in other countries in which our clients conduct business. Our focus is on providing clients with internal procedures that are as uniform as possible, while meeting the standards required by all applicable jurisdictions.

We assist our clients in designing AML compliance policies and procedures, conducting compliance audits, and providing training on customer identification programs (CIPs), suspicious activities reports (SARs), bank secrecy reporting, OFAC/control list compliance, and other information requests from the U.S. government.

We provide counsel regarding all types of payments and payment mechanisms and related legal and regulatory requirements. This includes cash and monetary instruments, sales and issuance of prepaid products, gift and credit cards, automated clearinghouse payments, money service businesses, and cross-border payments. In these areas, we provide assistance with regard to service contracts, both domestic and foreign, customer identification requirements, privacy, emerging tax reporting requirements (such as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, FATCA), and the application of regulatory standards to specific financial product designs, agreements, and transactions. We also assist in the implementation of technical solutions for transaction monitoring and suspicious activity detection.

Due Diligence, Government, and Internal Investigations

Venable has extensive experience conducting sensitive due diligence investigations regarding high-risk clients and business sectors. We frequently act for clients in high-stakes law enforcement and regulatory inquiries, and handle enforcement matters in the United States and around the world.

Our Investigations and White Collar Defense Group represents Fortune 500, mid-sized, and small companies and their executives in all phases of civil and criminal investigations by federal and state agencies. We work on matters involving money laundering, accounting irregularities, securities fraud, insider trading, and the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and its counterparts in countries around the world.

AML Practice Focus

  • AML policies, procedures, and systems requirements
  • Anti-corruption and anti-fraud program implementation
  • Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and enforcement
  • Counter-Financing of Terrorism (CFT)
  • Criminal money laundering investigations
  • Currency Transaction Reports, Form 8300
  • Due diligence involving high-risk products, transactions, services, countries, intermediaries, counterparties, and customers
  • Joint and Travel Rule recordkeeping
  • Know Your Customer (KYC) and Customer Identification Program (CIP) requirements
  • Politically exposed persons (PEPs)
  • Risk assessment and documentation
  • Suspicious activity investigation and reporting
  • Trade-based money laundering prevention
  • Foreign account reporting requirements

Client Focus

  • Banks and other financial institutions
  • Multinational corporations
  • Special committees of the board of directors
  • Individuals (CEOs, CFOs, corporate officers, directors, and employees)


  • Counseled financial institutions through regulatory examinations for, among other matters, AML compliance, training, and internal auditing standards.
  • Established OFAC compliance procedures for one of the largest non-bank financial institutions in the United States.
  • Advised multinational corporation on AML compliance issues.
  • Advise multiple financial institutions on an ongoing basis concerning AML and OFAC.
  • Conducted an investigation for a special committee of the board of a large financial institution regarding allegations made in shareholder derivative suits that the bank did not have appropriate AML controls and procedures to prevent the laundering of money from Russia and other former Eastern bloc countries.
  • Successfully represented an executive of a large financial institution in a federal criminal proceeding.
  • Successfully represented multiple bank officers in federal criminal and regulatory money laundering investigations.
  • Successfully represented a former senior executive of a large financial institution in criminal, civil, and congressional investigations concerning Bank Secrecy Act / money laundering issues.
  • Representing a large bank in a federal criminal money laundering investigation.

Government Experience

We draw on the knowledge of Venable attorneys who have prior experience as government regulators and federal prosecutors, including:

  • A former deputy assistant treasury secretary and general counsel to the Treasury Department
  • A former director of enforcement and compliance at the Office of Comptroller of the Currency
  • A former assistant general counsel of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
  • A former assistant general counsel for Banking and Finance at the Department of the Treasury and later director of the Office of Thrift Supervision
  • Several former assistant United States attorneys and other federal prosecutors, including the head of the Money Laundering Task Force in the District of New Jersey


  • Ranked in U.S. News-Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms," 2012 – 2016
  • "Law Firm of the Year" in Criminal Law: White Collar Litigation
  • Attorneys highly ranked by Chambers USA
  • Ranked among the nation’s top firms, Financial Services: Regulatory, in Legal 500
  • Law360 named Venable a FCPA Powerhouse in 2013
  • FCPA and Anti-Corruption Group received Main Justice’s 2013 Distinguished Service Award
  • Attorneys recognized by:
    • Best Lawyers in America
    • Martindale-Hubbell