Criminal non-compliance offences under the PCMLTFA
This page is intended for law enforcement bodies or agencies, and relates to investigating or prosecuting non-compliance offences (criminal charges) under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA).
How FINTRAC assists law enforcement in investigating or prosecuting non-compliance offences under the PCMLTFA
FINTRAC assists law enforcement in investigating or prosecuting non-compliance offences under the PCMLTFA by providing non-compliance disclosures. Non-compliance disclosures may add value to criminal non-compliance investigations or prosecutions by providing any information FINTRAC has become aware of in the course of exercising its compliance powers. This information may include examination details, money services businesses registration information (such as ownership, bank accounts or business operations), and financial transactions reported by reporting entities. This compliance information may not be available elsewhere.
FINTRAC has the legislative authority, under subsection 65(1) of the PCMLTFA, to disclose information to law enforcement when the Centre suspects on reasonable grounds that the information would be relevant to investigating or prosecuting a non-compliance offence under the PCMLTFA. Non-compliance information is disclosed to law enforcement by way of a report that is called a non-compliance disclosure (NCD). Disclosures may occur when the Centre has identified reporting entity non-compliance, or when the Centre has received voluntary information from law enforcement on non-compliance.
NCDs may provide evidence of non-compliance offences and can be used in court. For example, if law enforcement establish that a transaction that must be reported has been conducted by a reporting entity, FINTRAC will confirm whether the transaction has been reported or if an offence was committed under the PCMLTFA.
Please note that NCDs can only be used as evidence of non-compliance offences under the PCMLTFA; they cannot be used for other purposes or under other legislation.
Non-compliance offences under the PCMLTFA
All reporting entities subject to the PCMLTFA and its Regulations must comply with all the obligations outlined therein, such as reporting financial transactions to FINTRAC, verifying clients identity, keeping records, establishing a compliance program, and registering with FINTRAC (applicable to money services businesses). Failure to comply may result in an administrative monetary penalty (AMP) or criminal charges under the PCMLTFA.
The offences and punishment pertaining to criminal charges under the PCMLTFA are set out in Part 5 of the PCMLTFA, and include:
- Subsection 74(1) PCMLTFA – General offences, including the failure to register as a money services business, to verify clients identity, and to keep prescribed records;
- Subsection 75(1) PCMLTFA – Reporting offences for suspicious transactions;
- Subsection 77(1) PCMLTFA – Reporting offences for electronic funds transfers, large cash transactions, large virtual currency transactions, and casino disbursements; and
- Section 77.1 PCMLTFA – Money services business registration information offences for providing false or misleading statements or information to FINTRAC.
Every person or entity that is guilty of an offence is liable:
- on summary conviction, to a fine of not more than $250,000 or $1,000,000 and/or to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years less a day, or
- on conviction on indictment, to a fine of not more than $500,000 or $2,000,000 and/or to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years.
How to submit voluntary information that is related to non-compliance with the PCMLTFA
You may request a voluntary information record (VIR) form for non-compliance investigations using the email address listed below. Please ensure to include in the VIR form the type of reporting entity suspected to be in non-compliance with the PCMLTFA and its Regulations, and any information that would be relevant to investigating or prosecuting the non-compliance offences. For example, the type of services a person or an entity is offering, the suspected non-compliance, and details of any financial transactions conducted.
Once completed, the VIR form can be submitted using the secure email address: email@example.com. Please note that FINTRAC will only respond to emails bearing the appropriate police or government partner domain name.
You may also direct questions related to non-compliance to the above mentioned email address.
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