Money Laundering, Cybercrime and Criminal Responsibility of Legal Persons
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Directives 2015/849 and 2018/843 on money laundering require continuous adaptations of the legal framework to respond to threats of the use of new technologies in money laundering. Directive 2018/843 extends the scope of Directive 2015/849 to ‘providers engaged in exchange services between virtual currencies and fiat currencies, as well as custodian wallet providers’. Undoubtedly, the new payment systems facilitate money launderers’ criminal activity. These systems are better than cash for moving large sums of money, non-face to face business relationships favour the use of straw buyers and false identities, the absence of credit risk, as there is usually a prepaid option, discourages service providers from obtaining complete and accurate customer information, and the nature of the trade and the speed of transactions make it difficult to control property or freezing. However, the development of technologies, including the Internet, has unquestionable advantages involved and even provides, through online resources, verification of identity or other duty of surveillance for the prevention of money laundering. In addition, the reform of June 22, 2010 introduced in Spain the criminal liability of legal persons and incorporated money laundering, together with other crimes, to this innovative model of criminal responsibility. Soon after, Organic Law 1/2015, of March 30, modified the hitherto barely applied regulation. In conclusion, the use of dummy corporations for money laundering is frequent, as is evidenced by the judgements of the Supreme Court of June 26, 2012 and February 4, 2015, but until recently the accessory consequences and the doctrine of piercing the corporate veil were sufficient.
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