Carl A. Fornaris

Carl A. Fornaris is co-chair of the firm’s Financial Regulatory and Compliance Practice.  Carl is the immediate past General Counsel of the Florida International Bankers’ Association and sits on the Board of Directors of FIBA. Previously, he served as Head of Legal and Compliance for the Latin America region of Barclays Bank PLC, with responsibility for managing legal and compliance matters throughout the region of Latin America.  He began his legal career in Washington, D.C. with an international law firm.  Carl advises banks, their holding companies, investment advisers, securities broker dealers, money services businesses and other financial institutions on capital-raising transactions, Volcker Rule implementation, CFPB compliance, critical examination reports and enforcement proceedings, and compliance with the Dodd-Frank Act, FATCA, USA PATRIOT Act/BSA/AML and OFAC sanctions programs. Carl also advises former officers and directors of failed banks in connection with threatened or actual administrative and civil claims.

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Florida Creates Blockchain Task Force to Study Benefits of Blockchain Technology

On May 23, 2019, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed SB 1024 (Florida Blockchain Bill) into law to establish the Florida Blockchain Task Force (Blockchain Task Force) within the Florida Department of Financial Services. The Blockchain Task Force will study if and how Florida’s state, county, and municipal governments can benefit from a transition to blockchain-based … Continue Reading

FinCEN Issues Guidance on Application of Regulations to Certain Business Models Involving Convertible Virtual Currencies

On May 9, 2019, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the U.S. Department of the Treasury (FinCEN) issued “interpretive guidance” addressing how FinCEN’s money services business (MSB) regulations apply to a variety of business models that use convertible virtual currency (CVC) (2019 FinCEN Guidance). This is the first significant guidance FinCEN has issued regarding the … Continue Reading

Regulators Weigh in on Digital Assets, Tokens, Securities, and Derivative Instruments Used in ICOs

The rise of blockchain technology ventures raising money preternaturally through initial coin offerings and token generation events (collectively, ICOs) is a capital formation disruptor, one which has and will continue to spawn considerable futures, fortunes, failures — and frauds. Blockchain-based ICOs have, through 121 offerings closed during January-August 2017, raised over $1.78 billion, with an … Continue Reading

New Bill Introduced in the U.S. Senate to Require the Disclosure of Ultimate Beneficial Owners of Corporations and LLCs Formed or Registered in the United States

On August 2, 2017, United States Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) jointly introduced Senate Bill 1717, entitled the “Corporate Transparency Act of 2017” (the “Act”).  The Act was referred to the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.  The Act would amend Title 31 of the United States Code, to … Continue Reading

High-End, Cash-Only Real Estate Sales in Six Major Metropolitan Areas Remain Subject to Mandatory AML Reporting Requirements

On Feb. 23, 2017, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the U.S. Department of the Treasury (FinCEN) extended by an additional six months its existing Geographic Targeting Orders (GTOs) that require U.S. title insurance companies, their subsidiaries and agents (collectively, the Title Insurance Companies) to identify the natural persons behind shell companies used to pay … Continue Reading

OCC Consideration of Special Purpose Fintech Charters Draws Rapid Reaction for State Banking Regulators

On Dec. 2, 2016, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) published a preliminary proposal to create a national bank charter for financial technology companies (fintech). The OCC’s rationale in support of the proposal was that such a charter could promote the safety and soundness of fintech institutions, bring greater legal and regulatory … Continue Reading

10 TRENDS: Getting Better All the Time

When Jennifer Shasky-Calvery, at the time the director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), addressed attendees at G2E 2013, she brought a stern message to the industry. She called for a complete culture change in the industry with a dedication to rooting out financial crimes… or else. Since then, Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and anti-money … Continue Reading

U.S. Treasury Department Expands its ‘Real Estate GTOs’ to Require Title Insurance Companies and Their Agents To Report the Ultimate Beneficial Owners of Entities Used To Buy Residential Real Estate in All-Cash Purchases in Six Metropolitan Areas, Including all of New York City, South Florida and Portions of California and Texas

On July 27, 2016, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the U.S. Department of the Treasury (FinCEN) issued a press release announcing new Geographic Targeting Orders (GTOs) applicable to certain U.S. title insurance companies and their subsidiaries and “agents” (collectively, the Targeted Title Insurance Companies). The new GTOs go well beyond those that were initially … Continue Reading

FinCEN Finalizes Customer Due Diligence Rule

May 6, 2016, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the U.S. Department of the Treasury (FinCEN) finalized regulations that will require banks, securities broker dealers, mutual funds, futures commission merchants, and introducing brokers in commodities (collectively, Covered Institutions) to identify and perform due diligence on the ultimate beneficial owners and control persons of any legal … Continue Reading

Manhattan and Miami Residential Real Estate Sales – What Are the New Treasury Department Anti-Money Laundering Requirements All About?

In January 2016, the Treasury Department announced “geographic targeting orders” (GTOs) that will require title insurance companies and their agents to obtain representative and ultimate beneficial ownership information when a legal entity purchases residential real estate in Manhattan or Miami-Dade County with purchases prices that exceed $3 million and $1 million, respectively. It is expected that this … Continue Reading

Fred Karlinsky Moderated a Panel at the 19th Annual Insurance Forum

Fred E. Karlinsky, a shareholder in the Fort Lauderdale and Tallahassee offices of international law firm Greenberg Traurig P.A., moderated the Dec. 3 insurance commissioners panel at the 19th Annual Insurance Forum held in Chicago, Illinois. In addition to Karlinsky, participants included Commissioner Jim Donelon of Louisiana and Commissioner Sharon Clark of Kentucky. The panel … Continue Reading

Greenberg Traurig Actively Involved with IA Watch’s 2015 Commitment to Compliance Conference

Greenberg Traurig’s Financial Regulatory and Compliance practice was a proud sponsor of the IA Watch’s 2015 Commitment to Compliance Conference that was held on Sept. 21 in Philadelphia, PA.  The conference sessions addressed various compliance challenges that organizations should keep in mind, including the following topic areas: Providing  a peek inside the SEC’s agenda for … Continue Reading

Proposed AML Program and SAR Reporting Requirements Nearing for Investment Advisers

On July 23, 2015, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) completed its review of a proposed regulation submitted to OMB by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury that, when finalized into a final regulation, would require investment advisers to adopt and implement anti-money laundering (AML) program and … Continue Reading

FinCEN Issues Second South Florida GTO in Less Than Three Months

Today, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), working in conjunction with U.S. Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, issued a Geographic Targeting Order (GTO) for Miami-Dade and Broward counties. The GTO applies to check cashing business and requires check cashers to keep … Continue Reading

New York State Releases Final BitLicense Regulation

On June 3, 2015, the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) published its final BitLicense regulation. The regulation requires that firms engaged in “Virtual Currency Business Activity” that involves New York State or a New York resident apply to DFS for a BitLicense within 45 days of its effective date. In this Alert, … Continue Reading

Jennifer Gray and Michele Stocker Spoke at the MBA’s Legal Issues and Regulatory Compliance Conference

Greenberg Traurig was a sponsor of the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Legal Issues and Regulatory Compliance Conference held in Chicago, Illinois from May 3-6. Shareholders Michele L. Stocker and Jennifer L. Gray presented at the conference. “We, as a firm, value our continued involvement with the MBA and appreciate the opportunity to be a recurring … Continue Reading

FinCEN Releases A Geographic Targeting Order Concerning Currency Reporting Laws in Certain Areas of Miami-Dade County

On April 21, 2015, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the U.S. Department of the Treasury (FinCEN), working in conjunction with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the South Florida Money Laundering Strike Force, released a rarely-issued Geographic Targeting Order (GTO) for certain areas of Miami-Dade County. The GTO requires certain … Continue Reading

Recent DOJ and Regulatory Actions Against Smaller Institutions Suggest That Community Banks Should Continue to Carefully Consider BSA/AML Risks

In recent months, certain small banks have come under increased investigation by FinCEN, federal bank regulators, and in some instances the Department of Justice (DOJ) for alleged non-compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and alleged failure to implement effective anti-money laundering programs. It is important for small banks to keep this development in mind … Continue Reading

AML Developments – FDIC Announces That It Will End Its Supervisory Trend of Expecting Regulated Institutions to ‘De-Risk’ Entire Categories of Customers

On Jan. 28, 2015, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in a Financial Institutions Letter (FIL) announced that it would, in effect, do an about-face on its supervisory expectation that banks strongly consider discontinuing the provision of financial services to entire categories of certain purportedly high-risk customers. These categories of customers included, to name a … Continue Reading
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