FinCEN Imposes Fine for Failure to Register as Money Services Business Under Bank Secrecy Act

On April 18, 2019, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) imposed a $35,350 civil money penalty on Eric Powers for failure to register as a Money Services Business under the Bank Secrecy Act.  Mr. Powers was a peer-to-peer exchanger of bitcoin, a digital currency, for nearly two years.  FinCEN has taken the position that such exchangers are money transmitters who must register as Money Services Businesses, and it issued guidance to that effect in 2013.  By not registering, Mr. Powers avoided anti-money laundering and other obligations that would have otherwise applied.