Sacramento – Today, Assemblywoman Laurie Davies (R-Laguna Niguel) issued the following statement following the introduction of AB 76:
“California is a leader in consumer protection and ensuring our laws reflect the growing and innovative technology used for day-to-day transactions. This technology has continued to evolve to now include cryptocurrency. AB 76 is a common-sense measure to strengthen our state’s money laundering statutes and close the current loophole that permits the laundering of assets using cryptocurrency. It should also be noted that as we have seen a rise in drug trafficking, nefarious organizations are using this type of currency to escape detection and continue their illegal activities in the underground markets. California law must evolve to keep up with the digital operating methods of financial criminal organizations.”
AB 76 comes on the heels of news that cryptocurrency exchange FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was recently arrested in the Bahamas for a litany of federal charges including wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy, securities fraud, securities fraud conspiracy and money laundering.
Additionally, cryptocurrency has seen a surge in usage by those involved in human trafficking operations. As described by a 2021 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, “…Polaris, a nonprofit organization knowledgeable about human trafficking, found that virtual currency was the second-most commonly accepted payment method on 40 platforms in the online commercial sex market—which has been used to facilitate sex trafficking.”
The bill is sponsored by the California Conference of Bar Associations (CCBA)
Assemblywoman Laurie Davies represents the 74th Assembly District, which includes the communities of southern Orange County, including Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, San Clemente, and San Juan Capistrano plus the communities of northern San Diego County, including Camp Pendleton, Oceanside and Vista. so