February 14, 2024

Whitehouse Welcomes FinCEN Proposed Rule Extending Anti-Money Laundering Safeguards to Investment Advisors

Washington, DC – Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Chairman of the Caucus on International Narcotics Control and a member of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, today applauded the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) for proposing a rule that would subject investment advisors in the private investment industry to basic anti-money laundering reporting requirements.

“While I am still reviewing the proposal and look forward to submitting comments in due course, I welcome FinCEN’s efforts to close one of the largest vulnerabilities in our nation’s defenses against financial malfeasance,” said Whitehouse.  “While our banking sector has long been subject to basic anti-money laundering safeguards, there are still too many opportunities for the world’s thieves to hide money, and too many private interests facilitating that dark trade.  Requiring investment advisors to question the source of suspicious funds and meet simple due diligence requirements will strengthen America’s anti-money laundering framework and help us better combat kleptocracy and international corruption.”

Investment advisers and investment companies operating in the opaque, $11 trillion private investment industry—encompassing private equity, venture capital, and hedge funds—are subject to minimal, if any, anti-money laundering safeguards.  Whitehouse wrote to FinCEN in 2022 asking the agency to prioritize subjecting investment advisors to such safeguards, and later co-led a letter with Senator Warren reiterating that ask following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

Last week, Whitehouse applauded FinCEN for proposing a rule to strengthen anti-money laundering safeguards in the U.S. residential real estate market following his encouragement.  Since 2021, Whitehouse has co-led the bipartisan appropriations effort to increase funding for FinCEN and its anti-money laundering operations, overseeing substantial increases to the agency each year.  FinCEN is also in charge of cracking down on terrorist and cartel financing and other financial crimes around the globe.

Whitehouse has long led the charge to strengthen America’s hand against international corruption and kleptocracy.  He is the Chair of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, a member of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (or the Helsinki Commission), and a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

The Senator led the efforts in Congress to pass the most important anti-money laundering law in two decades, the Corporate Transparency Act, and the broader Anti-Money Laundering Act.  Both laws clamp down on criminals and foreign enemies hiding assets from U.S. law enforcement, national security officials, and tax authorities.  The Corporate Transparency Act became effective at the start of the new year after Whitehouse successfully urged FinCEN to strengthen rules implementing the law. 

Whitehouse pushed successfully to include the Foreign Extortion Prevention Act in the FY2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that President Joe Biden signed in late December 2023.  The historic legislation protects American businesses and U.S. national security interests by criminalizing the demand-side of foreign bribery.  Advocates hailed the law as “the most consequential anti-foreign-bribery law passed in almost 50 years,” “the most important expansion of our country’s bribery and foreign anti-corruption laws in decades,” and “a critical tool to push back against China and other autocratic regimes that have weaponized corruption to entrench favorable political regimes.”

In late 2022, the Senator passed bipartisan legislation to ensure Russian President Vladimir Putin and his corrupt oligarchs pay for the reconstruction of Ukraine.  In 2022, Whitehouse secured $67 million in the Ukraine supplemental appropriations bill for the Department of Justice’s KleptoCapture program—an interagency law enforcement task force to enforce sanctions, export restrictions, and economic countermeasures that the United States has imposed on Russia.

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921

Press Contact

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921